PDA

View Full Version : Is NYC Dirty?



Pages : [1] 2

JeffreyNYC
November 18th, 2002, 06:17 PM
This is a topic that in my opinion seems to be of little interest to New Yorkers and that is the dirty city streets of NY.
After having been away from NY. for 10 years in Europe and seeing just how the streets are kept clean there, I am appauled at the filth, grime and smells encountered on our country's number 1 city streets!
I realize the population of New York is far greater than any of the European cities but New York is also sectioned off into boroughs and neighborhoods thus making them small cities and easier to clean.
Chicago has the advantage of alleyways behind all it's city streets where garbage bags can be collected for pick up. New York must put all the garbage out on the sidewalks infront of the buildings. Can nothing be built to contain the mountains of garbage?
The litter is unbelievable. Garbage cans are often overflowing and street cleaning machines move at such a fast pace that they couldn't get close to the curb to sweep up the garbage if they wanted to. This is also not just a localized problem. You can find this in any borough and any neighborhood. Sure, some are better than others but it's an overall generalization.
I don't mean to sound negative about NY. This is a fantastic city but the embarassment of showing visitors around the city with newspapers blowing down the street and plastic bags caught in branches of trees, not to mention the garbage scattered on the subway tracks, is something that we New Yorkers should care a little bit more about!

Jessica
November 19th, 2002, 06:41 PM
There is not much garbage scattered where I live. *And you hardly ever smell any odors outside related to garbage. *But...my town only has a population of 30,000, so this is to be expected.

I did notice smells in NYC and a lot of filth around, but I don't see anyway to get around this in such a large and populated city. *If everyone made the effort to be sure that garbage was properly disposed of, and placed into trash bins, it might help.

One of the big surprises to me when I was there, was the condition of the pavement. *Streets here are well taken care of, so the bumpy, rough rides there were quite shocking. *Is it just hard to work on them because of all the traffic?

ddny
November 19th, 2002, 08:50 PM
Well...it is an undeniable fact that there is a certain percentage of New Yorkers who don't know where to place trash.

Also...you're right, there's very little room to hide trash in the city because of the lack of alleyways. I'm not sure what the solution is to this problem. But I'm pretty sure that if NYC had locations to place trash bags, the city would be ALOT cleaner. Got any suggestions?

Don't worry about making a complaints about NYC. I have numerous complaints about NYC, but I still love it. It's only when people voice their complaints can there be a possibility for change.

Eugenius
November 20th, 2002, 09:39 AM
Generally, the trash gets placed on the street in the late evening the day before "trash day" for the particular neighbourhood. *It is usually removed very early the next morning. *The major problem is the bits of garbage left behind after the bags are removed. *Perhaps the city should focus in on that and create incentives for the garbage haulers to clean up after themselves.

JeffreyNYC
November 20th, 2002, 11:05 AM
Unfortunately it seems that the trash collectors are *some of the people who care the least about the cleanliness of the city streets. If you watch them in action this is quite obvious. I don't feel they should need to be offered incentives to clean better. Perhaps they need to be suspended or fired. In today's current economy there are probably people who might do a better job.
Inspectors should be sent around to look at the cleanliness of the streets after the streetsweepers and garbage collectors have passed.
Also containers should be built in buildings or on sidewalks to keep the garbage in. I think you'd see a much cleaner city then!
I also know there are laws for littering but if the laws were reinforced Bloomberg might not have to raise mass transit fares.

NYatKNIGHT
November 21st, 2002, 10:20 AM
This is by far my biggest pet peeve with NYC. It gets downright filthy and it doesn't have to be that bad. I lived in other U.S. cities, and while the population definitely has something to do with it, I think people simply litter more here. And if they don't litter more then they have grown accustomed to living with the filth.

Over the past few weeks we have had a few blustery rain storms. When this happens, you find the city littered with cheap umbrellas. It's unbelievable, almost humorous, how many umbrellas there are all over the streets - just feet away from the garbage cans. It starts to rain, people quickly buy a cheap umbrella, the wind turns it inside out, they throw it to the ground.

Just an observation, and I hope this doesn't come off as prejudice, but it seems certain ethnic groups seem to tolerate the garbage more than others. Maybe it's a cultural thing, or maybe it's because so many immigrants use NY as a temporary home and just don't care. Either way, some of these neighborhoods look like the third world countries they stemmed from.

At the same time, New Yorkers don't seem to notice the litter. I don't mean piles of garbage, I mean the little scraps of plastic and paper that inundate every nook and cranny. When I moved back after living away for a number of years, the amount of litter was the most noticeable thing I encountered, and more shocking was that everyone just seemed to accept it as part of New York life. *

Yes, we need better recepticles, more frequent trash pick-up and street cleaning, but New Yorkers definitely need to try to keep it cleaner. The laws are in place - enforce them!

JeffreyNYC
November 21st, 2002, 11:23 AM
I couldn't agree with you more! New Yorkers really seem to accept the litter as a part of life in NYC.
I have no idea why. Most New Yorkers are not from here and barring the people from 3rd world countries, most of these people come from cleaner places. I don't know why certain neighborhoods look like the third world! It seems like there are simple solutions to this problem. It is not discussed at all! I wish people would get more involved in the cleaning up of the city. I've been known to pick up trash on the streets of my own free will. Just as easily as someone can throw an empty plastic water bottle on the street, it can just as easily be picked up!
If anyone knows of any ways to get involved in beautifying and cleaning up NYC. let me know.

NYatKNIGHT
November 22nd, 2002, 12:08 PM
Less garbage now? Recycling in the 1890s?
While we're on the topic of New York garbage, here's an interesting article in todays Times:

NEW YORK TIMES
November 22, 2002
Finding Surprises in the Garbage
By KIRK JOHNSON


The idea that America's output of garbage rises ever skyward — more trash, year by passing year — has become one of the great unchallenged assumptions about how the world works. The sun rises, the swallows return to Capistrano and our moldering mountain of refuse grows higher. The disposable society, like the tide, sweeps all before it.

Daniel C. Walsh believed it, too, until he began poking through the musty records in the New York City Archives about 15 years ago. Dr. Walsh, an adjunct professor at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, stumbled on a long-unread paper trail that he said might be unique among big American cities: 100 years of painstakingly kept records about what New Yorkers threw away.

The millions of entries — recording the weight of each cartload and truck, with periodic detailed examinations of what the carts contained — began in the late 1800's. And when those entries are laid end to end in a timeline, as Dr. Walsh has done in a paper published last week in Environmental Science and Technology, they shatter a lot of myths.

The much-lauded greatest generation of the 1920's and 1930's, for example, threw out far more garbage, Dr. Walsh found, than New Yorkers living today in the era of shrink wrap and single-serve. Pounds of trash per person peaked not in the prosperous 1990's, but in 1940.

Most people might expect that the trash of old was also more organic in content, with a higher proportion of materials derived from plants and animals — a kind of dustbin extension of Grandma's kitchen, full of corncobs, peach pits, butcher paper and other compostable artifacts of a domestic age.

Wrong again. Organic waste made up a higher proportion of New York City's garbage stream at the century's end, mainly from paper, than in any period before — four times higher than it was in 1905, and almost twice as high as it was on the eve of World War II.

Even the history of recycling, the record showed, was not quite what it seemed. By many measures, Dr. Walsh found, the golden age of recycling in New York was not the save-the-earth 1970's, but the gilded-age 1890's, when mandatory curbside separation of trash was imposed. Recycling faded before World War I and did not return until the 1990's.

Well, then how about product packaging? Surely it must be true that there's more of that now. Here Dr. Walsh, a geochemist by training who is also the chief of environmental monitoring in New York City for the State Department of Environmental Conservation, found that the conventional wisdom is only partly true, at best. The increase in packaging has been more than countered by the decrease in packaging weight. Trash per person in New York has barely budged in the last 20 years.

The great trend of the 20th century, Dr. Walsh concluded, has been toward less garbage — or at least lighter garbage — because the economics demanded it and technology made it possible.

"There are very significant forces out there that are working to minimize the mass of the waste stream," he said. "The forces are strong and they're incredibly effective."

There are a few huge factors that explain — or, some critics might say, skew — Dr. Walsh's conclusions. A major element in explaining why the garbage today is lighter, and has a higher organic component, comes down to how New Yorkers heat their homes. The use of coal, which produces ash once tossed into landfills, began declining in the 1920's in favor of oil and later natural gas. By the early 1960's, when pounds of trash per person reached their lowest point in the century, that fuel transition had largely been completed.

Dr. Walsh also conceded that lighter garbage did not necessarily mean fewer items. The city's records reflect weight per person, not volume. Still, the trend is clear that trash, over time, only gets lighter.

The average plastic gallon milk jug, for example, is a third lighter than it was in the 1970's. The oil crisis that struck in the middle of the decade pushed truckers and manufacturers to seek alternatives that were lighter and used less raw material. Remember how much an ordinary American beer bottle weighed during the administration of Gerald Ford? Go to a Chinese restaurant and order a Tsing Tao, brewed in China by bottlers who haven't faced the same pressures to lighten up.

Garbage experts and historians of sanitation (a bigger club than you might think) say that Dr. Walsh has nailed a process that has largely been overlooked: that the market — not politics or social policy — mostly determines what happens inside the nation's garbage cans. But some also say that less waste per person and less waste as a society are not the same.

"I think there was not so much a reduction as a shifting of waste," said Mark A. Izeman, a lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York-based conservation group. The change in fuels toward oil and electricity, for example, might mean less garbage that New Yorkers put on the curb, he said, but more waste and pollution at the power plants where energy was produced.

Lighter plastics have also meant greater reliance on chemically complex plastics that are harder to recycle. Technology, through the disposal of things like computers and batteries, Mr. Izeman said, has also made the waste stream far more toxic than it was in the past.

The heart of Dr. Walsh's research, however, is the century timeline — a kind of ticker tape of trash that flickers by, marked by the rise and fall of trends and forces that would seem to have little to do with what people threw away.

World War I and World War II loom as blips, when trash levels fell because of wartime scrap drives. Trash per person surged in the Roaring 20's and continued rising even during the Great Depression of the 1930's, partly perhaps because of construction debris from the huge public works projects undertaken in those years. Trash levels fell in the mid-1970's as the city's fortunes declined.

There are also images of a city long faded from view.

Through the 1930's, for example, New Yorkers lived — or at least ate — in a greater rhythm with the seasons than they do today. Because refrigeration and transportation were still limited, fresh fruits and vegetables, reflected in the record as food waste, peaked with the harvest in late summer and early fall. Food waste reached its low point in January and February, when fresh produce was for most people not to be had.

But the most profound conclusion that emerged from the records, Dr. Walsh said, was not the historical nuggets, but the underlying engine that produced them. The big economic drivers of the 20th century — improved transportation and refrigeration, the transformation of consumer convenience, the pressure on businesses to cut costs — all moved in one direction: toward less waste, not more. He stressed that those findings were a result of independent research at Columbia, not his environmental work for the state.

"Everything relates to two principal factors — one is reducing costs, making things lighter and easier to transport, and the other is making them more convenient to the consumer," Dr. Walsh said. "And that often means making them lighter, also. I see this pattern throughout the century."

Garbage economics does not always help, though. Sometimes it actually adds to the city's trash burden. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said this year, for example, that weak prices had made much of the city's recycling program untenable. The city suspended the recycling of glass and plastic in June, although Mr. Bloomberg said he hoped to restore the program in the next few years.

Sanitation experts say that Dr. Walsh's study proves Mr. Bloomberg right: markets do matter when it comes to trash. Another implication is that the market itself might bring recycling back into vogue.

"Recycling is going to become more cost effective relative to our other alternatives," said Benjamin Miller, a former City Sanitation Department official and author of "Fat of the Land: Garbage in New York, the Last Two Hundred Years" (Four Walls Eight Windows, 2000). Mr. Miller said he thought that rising costs of landfill disposal in places like Pennsylvania, where much of the city's trash now goes, would eventually tilt the balance back to the point where recycling is the less expensive choice.

Dr. Walsh said he had also become more optimistic that the trend toward reduction would continue.

"Sometimes these forces happen fast, like the replacement of metal and glass with plastic and aluminum; sometimes they're slow, like the replacement of coal, which took 50 years," he said.

Paper, currently the biggest item in the waste stream, will ultimately be replaced, too, in coming decades, Dr. Walsh said, by more economic digital technologies.

"There's no question that it will happen," he said, "because the forces are consistent through the century, and they will be consistent throughout the next."

Rich Battista
November 22nd, 2002, 08:47 PM
Think of it this way, in Manhattan and other busy streets over 1.5 million people walk across it on any given day, not to mention, the maybe 500 or 600 thousand cars that do as well leaving skid marks, and blowing exhaust into the ground. I will tell you, more people and cars walk up and down any Manhattan Avenue than most other cities populations.

Agglomeration
November 24th, 2002, 12:14 AM
Right on Rich. No wonder the street maintenance men have such a hard time cleaning up the sidewalks. They run the risk of getting struck by a car or bus, have to deal with abus from pedestrians who bump into them, and end up going back the next morning to more litter and more papers flying around. Those street sweepers and pothole figters and traffic cops should really be applauded (and given a pay raise) for the draconian work they do.

Eugenius
November 25th, 2002, 11:14 AM
In midtown as well as the upper East and West sides there is this program "Ready Willing Able" where men who were previously homeless are paid to clean the streets and empty the trash cans. *This effectively kills two birds with one stone - deals with the homeless problem and helps keep the streets clean.

JeffreyNYC
November 25th, 2002, 12:29 PM
I agree that Manhattan sidewalks are among the busiest in the world thus making clean up more difficult. One could say also that in Europe the sidewalkes are three times smaller than in NYC. thus making it more difficult for them to clean the streets due to the real lack of space and the people who crowd them. Anyone who has ever witnessed street cleaning abroad virsus NYC. can certainly see our faults here.
I don't buy the fact that the city is dirty because of the numbers of people on the sidewalks...while this can make it difficult to clean, other sidewalks in other boroughs virtually unused are scattered with litter as well. On a street I often walk down you can see the same garbage there for a 6 month period or more. They simply do not clean it enough. This is a street with very little foot traffic.
Also I might add, ironically that Fifth Avenue, one of the cities busiest streets by far is virtually litter free!!!
I guess this shows that when NYC. has to clean it can!
It's just a matter of priority!

Des
November 25th, 2002, 10:27 PM
Oh to hell with this. If you want to see a dirty,smelly city outside of Asia come to London. It stinks.

There are very few Londoners living in London any more so maybe that has something to do with it. Most of us have abandoned our once beautiful capital city and those who are are left are leaving any time now. The description of Detroit on another forum *applies very much to London these days.

I wonder how many ex-Londoners are living in New York these days? Mostly those with loads of dosh. Bitter? Of course I f*ck
ing am!

JeffreyNYC
December 11th, 2002, 03:37 PM
sorry but the streets of NYC. are far dirtier than Detroit's.

Agglomeration
December 16th, 2002, 11:25 PM
Well that's because Detroit has too few pedestrians and too many browfields...LOL

enzo
December 19th, 2002, 02:09 AM
Habit. Littering is habitual here.

Even the garbage men litter.

The corner trash cans are always full.

You almost HAVE to litter sometimes.

Our trash just swirls around us in the wind!

Rich Battista
January 2nd, 2003, 05:01 PM
* *Well sinse our trash cans are full, that tells us that we are not a littering people. The deal about Detriot is that the people are too busy making cars to litter. Especially sinse Detroit is more of an industrial city than a corporate one. They may have more problems breathing, and catching 3 headed fish in their waters. We just have a few extra plastic bags floating around, hell we are thinking of reopening our dirtiest river as a beach, what does that tell you.
* * I have the article about it somewhere in my house, if i find it i will paste it on the site. It was last year when they proposed to create beaches on the Manhattan shoreline because the levels of PCP and other toxins are almost non existant here. Most have flowed up towards Weschester and Albany. Anyway, they were thinking of making from 42nd street to 79th public beach on the west side.

* *

JeffreyNYC
March 21st, 2003, 02:42 PM
Rivers may be cleaner but the streets certainly are not.

Ptarmigan
April 11th, 2003, 07:19 PM
Yeah, New York can be dirty in some places. The streets are littered with trash. Where I am, its dirty in some places. How is the air in New York? Houston's air is really dirty and can be bad for you sometimes.

krulltime
August 8th, 2004, 06:27 PM
Our beaches are trashed
Find rats, syringes


BY FRANK LOMRADI
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Most city-run beaches are littered with a disgusting array of trash, including food wrappers, cigarette butts - and in one case, a dead rat, a new City Council review found.
Five of the seven public beaches operated by the city Parks Department had stomach-turning "amounts of floatable debris and packaging waste," according to the report being released today.

The investigators, who made two visits last month to each beach, found an abundance of "tires, condoms, syringes, wigs, dead rodents and used sanitary napkins," often within feet of playing children, the report says.

The worst of the lot was South Beach on Staten Island, which offered a menu of repulsive sights on the beach, along with a magnificent view of the Verrazano Bridge and Lower New York Bay.

"The water is gooey!" screamed a young woman as she ran out of the water, one investigator said.

Parks officials had no comment, but one noted that beach conditions can vary depending on the time of day and weather.

And a visit to South Beach on Friday by a Daily News reporter found it clean and with more fans than detractors.

"It seems clean enough to me," said Robert Anderson, 75, a Wagner College history professor who uses the beach three or four times a week. "Where else can you go to see this vista? It's very peaceful."

Lydia Galicia, 24, who lives in the South Beach section, was surprised at the Council's findings.

"It can't be!" she insisted. "I come here all the time, and South Beach is the most beautiful part of Staten Island I've been to. I met my fiancé here."

But Steven Gard, 15, also of South Beach, disagreed, saying: "It's not even real sand, and the beach is dirty. Every couple of days things float in. I would not go in the water at all."

Other dirty beaches included Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn, Orchard Beach in the Bronx, Midland Beach on Staten Island and sections of Rockaway Beach in Queens.

Manhattan Beach in southeastern Brooklyn was found to be "very well-maintained and clean." And the only litter found at the Wolfe's Pond Park beach on Staten Island was seaweed and kelp.

Dirtiest

South Beach, S.I.

Investigators saw:

-A young woman dash out of the water, screaming, “The water is gooey!”
-A child emerge from the water with cigarette butts and a potato chip bag stuck to him.
-A dead rat.
-Several large, white chunks of an unidentified substance floating in the water.
-Not 1 square foot that was free of litter.


Cleanest

Wolfe’s Pond Park, S.I.

Investigators say:

-Beach was quite clean, other than large amounts of seaweed and rocks.
-There were no large items of garbage on the sand or in the water.
-Only a few straws, food wrappers and a shoe. The beach was clean, although kelp was found all along the beach.


Source: City Council Oversight and Investigations Committee
Originally published on August 8, 2004


All contents © 2004 Daily News, L.P.


HITTING OUR SPLASHY, TRASHY BEACHES


By Stefan C. Friedman
August 8, 2004

City beaches more closely resemble garbage dumps than waterfront retreats, a City Council investigation has found.

Condoms, tampon applicators and motor-oil containers were among the refuse discovered at five of the city's seven beaches, the investigators contend in their report entitled "Swimming in Trash?" Even a dead rat was found on South Beach in Staten Island.

"Most New Yorkers can't afford to go to the Hamptons or the Caribbean for sun, surf and sand," said Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens), who chairs the council's Investigations Division.

They found South Beach to be "by far the worst beach surveyed," adding that on their second visit, "there was not a foot radius where the surface of the water and sand had no trash or debris covering the surface."

Gioia did concede two of the seven beaches — Wolfe's Pond Park in Staten Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn — were "spotless."

Parks spokeswoman Megan Sheekey said, "The quality of our city's beaches far exceeds the scientific quality of this report."


Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

krulltime
August 8th, 2004, 06:35 PM
GERM CITY


By SAM SMITH
August 8, 2004

Welcome to Germ City - better wash your hands on the way out.

Living on the surfaces of New York and the hands of its residents are a batch of nasties - from flesh-eating bacteria lurking on pay phones to diarrhea-inducing organisms crawling on MetroCard machines, a Post investigation has found.

Working under the direction of Dr. Phillip Tierno, director of the Department of Microbiology and Pathology at the NYU School of Medicine, Post journalists armed themselves with swabs and took to the streets last week to track down the invisible menaces.

Ironically, of the nearly 30 specimens collected, the greatest accumulation of E.coli - a fecal organism spread by people's failure to wash their hands - was found on the door handle at 125 Worth St., the headquarters of the City Department of Health.

"It was off the charts," Tierno said.

The culture showed a variety of germs, including E.coli and the highly pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause antibiotic-resistant infections.

"You know what I'm thinking? Disgusting!" said Kathleen Bethel, 65, who was picking up her birth certificate at the DOH.

"These are the people who are supposed to take care of all these problems. Next time I need to pick up anything from here, I'm just going to call."

The only other sample that rivaled the Department of Heath for pure grubbiness was a MetroCard touch screen at Grand Central Station, which was covered in E.coli and also showed Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause diarrhea.

The Times Square payphone at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 47th Street should only be used in an emergency. Tests showed it was home to E.coli as well as the frightening Beta Streptococcus Group A, which can cause strep throat in some strains and flesh-eating infections in others.

The tests did not show which strains of the various bacteria were present. The tests also did not show the presence of viruses, but Tierno says E.coli is an indicator of much more dangerous elements like salmonella or hepatitis A.

"That's scary," said Coalter Pollock, 32, of Summit, N.J. "When you pick up the phone, you know, you do the two-finger thing."

E.coli was also found on the water fountain just inside Central Park on the west side of Heckscher Ballfields.

If you're into keeping fit - and healthy - be sure to shower after visiting the gym.

At the Crunch gym on Lafayette Street, germs were found running wild on the hand grips of exercise machines.

E.coli, Enterococci (another fecal germ) and the harmless Sarcinia was detected on the sit-up machine.

On the gym's ballet bar was Staphylococcus aureus and Group B Strep, a vaginal germ that can cause problems for pregnant mothers.

"I always take a shower when I'm done working out," said Lawton Tootle, 62, of Manhattan. "And I make sure not to lick the ballet bar!"

Getting a quick wad of cash also proved to be a dirty business.

At the Chase ATM in Madison Square Garden lurked un-laundered germs.

As expected, our rivals at The Daily News weren't totally clean either. Tests found the door to their offices contained a variety of germs, including the dreaded Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

It seems one of few germ-free zones was atop the Empire State Building, where swabs of the viewers only showed the presence of only harmless organisms.

"The constant wind probably keeps germs from staying on," said Tierno, the author of "The Secret Life of Germs."

Tierno also had an explanation why the seat of taxi 6A36 showed no germ growth at all.

"Someone may have just wiped it all off when they slid out of the seat," he said.

New Yorkers should be taking a leaf out of tycoon Donald Trump's book if they want to stay clean he tries to avoid shaking hands.

One of the biggest contributors to the spread of germs and people getting sick is a lack of hand washing, says Tierno.

"You should wash your hands for 15 to 20 seconds, getting under your nails, rinse and repeat," said Tierno.

Additional reporting by Lindsay Powers and Marianne Garvey


Nasties

Alcaligenes: usually harmless environmental germ

Bacillus: some strains can cause diarrhea

Beta Streptococcus Group A: some strains are flesh-eating organisms

E.coli: fecal organism, can cause respiratory, urinary-tract and bloodstream infections, is an indicator of salmonella and hepatitis A

Eikenella: usually harmless organism that lives in crevice of teeth, cause an infection of the heart lining and, in rare cases, death

Enterobacter: possible virulent fecal organism, can cause respiratory or urinary-tract infections

Enterococci: fecal organism, can cause infections

Group B Strep: vaginal bacteria, not present in all women, can cause meningitis in neonatal infants

Pseudomonas aeruginosa: can cause highly antibiotic-resistant infections

Sarcinia: usually harmless environmental germ

Serratia: fecal and environmental organism, can cause infections

Staphylococcus aureus: highly pathogenic organism, can cause diarrhea and skin infections


Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

krulltime
August 9th, 2004, 08:32 AM
Giff sandbags beaches
Calls surf dirty & irks mayor


http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/61-beach_filth.JPG
Diamond Lara, 3, picks up her flip-flop sandal,
which is inches away from discarded latex glove on beach
at Coney Island yesterday.

BY VERONIKA BELENKAYA
DAILY NEWS WRITER

MAYOR BLOOMBERG and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller kicked up some sand yesterday as they squabbled over the state of city beaches.

Miller said a Council investigation found beaches littered with syringes, tires, condoms, a wig and even a dead rat.

"Things like that have no business being on the beach," Miller (D-Manhattan) said during a news conference at Coney Island.

But Bloomberg blasted the Council study as grandstanding and unscientific.

"Going out just to get your names in the paper is fine," Bloomberg said. "Why you guys [the press] bother to publish it, I don't know. The fact of the matter is, attendance at the beaches this year - and the weather hasn't been great - is up a million people over what it was before."

Miller, who is eying a mayoral run against Bloomberg next year, said the Council study deemed Coney Island and South Beach on Staten Island the dirtiest of the city's seven beaches.

"Our city's beaches are a treasure for the millions of families who visit them every summer and they need to be protected," he said.

Parks Department spokeswoman Megan Sheekey fired back, "The intense use of our beaches is the best proof that the report has no basis in reality."

"You go and interview people on the beaches; they'll tell you the beaches are as good as they've been in memory," Bloomberg told reporters.

Visits to Coney Island and South Beach by the Daily News found them relatively clean and filled with beachgoers.

"The water is warm and clean," said Coney Island beachgoer Lucy Buzenskaya, 50, emerging from the waves. "They clean very often and I love it here!"

But Jasmine Filomeno, 19, was not as thrilled. "It's filthy here," said Filomeno, digging up three pieces of glass from under her towel. "There's mad glass in this sand. You can cut yourself!"

With Lisa L. Colangelo
Originally published on August 9, 2004


All contents © 2004 Daily News, L.P.

BrooklynRider
August 9th, 2004, 01:20 PM
I think part of it (at least in comparison to other cities) is the fact that the volume of people in this city, walking around, creates a need for street trash bins to be emptied, at the very least, daily and often twice daily. That just doesn't happen. Certainly some BID areas are doing this, but the city as a whole does not.

STT757
August 9th, 2004, 06:20 PM
The Lower East Side, East Village are probably the filthiest parts of Manhattan.

Chinatown is the filthiest, smelliest neighborhood.

The cleanest, Battery Park City.

Kris
August 11th, 2004, 06:39 AM
August 11, 2004

ABOUT NEW YORK

On City's Dirtiest Beach, Not So Much Filth

By DAN BARRY

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/08/11/nyregion/20040810_about.jpg
A South Beach sign kept people away from a pier Tuesday, but the sand was accessible and enjoyable.

HANGING over the city yesterday was a haze created by current weather patterns and continuing reports of imminent terrorist attack. Hazy, crazy, but hardly lazy; that is the summer of '04.

A perfect day, then, to forget these worries and head for the beach. Not just any beach, but the dirtiest beach in all of New York City, at least in the estimation of the City Council: South Beach, on Staten Island.

Beach towel, check. Suntan lotion, check. Hydrogen peroxide, check.

The Council certainly captured the public's interest, on a Sunday free of terror chatter, by issuing a report called "Swimming in Trash?" The cover photographs, including those of what looked like a dead rat and a syringe, seemed to suggest that the answer was an emphatic yes, unless the photos were actually of poorly conceived beach toys.

You pull into South Beach's parking lot, imagining how you will ease your terrorist-related concerns by strolling along the shoreline, collecting medical waste for a possible mobile. But two problems immediately arise:

1. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, as likely a target as any structure in New York, looms to your left, and buzzing above is a helicopter, which brings to mind recent intelligence that terrorists might hijack a few. Truth is, no matter where you are, you find reminders of the troubled days in which you live.

2. South Beach is fairly clean. No medical waste; no mobile.

The relative tidiness of the beach prompted a rereading of the City Council report, whose intellectual rigor summoned memories of grade school reports on Earth Day field trips.

On three days in July, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., investigators - interns, basically - walked the shorelines of the city's seven beaches, searching for what the report called "floatable debris and garbage wash-ups." They returned once more last week to collect some trophies to brandish at a news conference.

According to a chart in the report, investigators found plastic bottles and food wrappers at all seven beaches (100 percent); straws or stirrers at six beaches (86 percent); cigarette butts at five beaches (71 percent); syringes at two beaches (29 percent); and condoms at one beach (14 percent).

A note accompanying the chart added that a dead rodent was found at South Beach; a wig and a used sanitary napkin were found at Coney Island; and a potted plant container was found at Midland Beach, also on Staten Island.

Beyond the veneer of gravitas provided by percentage figures and the solemn accounting of a discovered wig, the report raised more questions than it answers. It does not indicate whether one straw was found on each of six beaches, or whether the beaches were overrun with juice-box straws. It also included the incredible finding that two city beaches had no cigarette butts adorning their sands.

By the way. A wig?

Eric N. Gioia, chairman of the Council's Committee on Oversight and Investigations, defended the report as a "snapshot." He agreed that New York has pretty clean beaches; medical waste no longer clogs the shoreline, as it did in 1988. But he emphasized that the city should increase trash pickups and seek greater involvement from private entities.

"After we released this report," he said, "every beach is cleaner this week than last week."

Perhaps. By late yesterday morning, the sands at South Beach - "by far the worst beach surveyed," according to investigators - had been sifted relatively clean by a machine called the Beach King, and maintenance workers were picking up trash. But Thomas Paolo, the Parks Department's commissioner for Staten Island, said these are part of the daily drill.

A parks employee for nearly a quarter-century, Mr. Paolo remembers the South Beach of the early 1990's: "A dump!" The beach was closed, he said, lifeguards were a memory, and vandals were blowing up cars beneath the boardwalk.

NOW, the lifeguard chairs are full, the bathrooms are maintained and construction workers are building a boardwalk restaurant. As for the rat and the syringe, he said that storm drains overflow in heavy rains, and occasionally the debris of eight million winds up in the ocean, which gradually returns it to Gotham's sands.

Sitting under a gazebo on the boardwalk, Mr. Paolo looked around and said that the South Beach of his childhood was back: a beach of lazy, hazy, crazy days.

A walk along the seashore found no syringes for collection. Bottle caps, cigarette butts and the occasional can studded the sand, but the shells and stones of the sea outnumbered them by the thousands. Flashing blue and silver, peach and azure, they all but begged to be picked up and examined.

For a little while, at least, they provided distraction from another hazy day.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Jeffreyny
April 11th, 2005, 10:14 PM
Interstingly enough after having initially posted this thread, I have seen no improvement of the amount of litter on New York City streets. Does anyone think the city is any cleaner or is it about the same?

kmistic
April 16th, 2005, 11:16 PM
The Lower East Side, East Village are probably the filthiest parts of Manhattan.

Chinatown is the filthiest, smelliest neighborhood.

The cleanest, Battery Park City.

Chinatown is the nastiest place i have ever been. At some spots the smell of rotten fish was so bad i almost had to vomit.

Ninjahedge
April 22nd, 2005, 10:39 AM
That is the way of doing buisness down there, between the live, almost garage-like fishmarkets to the grocery stores piling all their refuse on the all-too-narrow sidewalks it is horrible.

I think the only thing that would solve something like that would be to limit the streets there to only commercial traffic only at certain hours of the day.

Let the store owners take over the entire sidewalk, if they want, so long as you still have a street to walk on.


As for the mess in the streets? That will never change. There are too many people in NYC, and too many with a poor attitude about cleanliness (I have seen SO many people just drop whatever they had in hand instead of walking TWO STEPS away to the trash can.).

Until the PEOPLE change, no amount of cleaning will KEEP NYC clean.

wildan
June 9th, 2005, 04:43 PM
I notice that NOT ONE of the postings suggests that any of the posters think it is their role to take part in helping keep the city clean.

Pick up a piece of paper! The next time some mom tells her brat to toss the wrapper on the ground, ask her whether that's what she does at home.

Ninjahedge
June 9th, 2005, 05:24 PM
Um, no.

You are going to go around picking up a sopping wet piece of paper that has been lying in the grey-colored water on the side of the road? How about cigarette buts? How about the gum a kid just spit out?

It is one thing to grab a newspaper and throw it in the trash, it is another to take someone's garbage from KFC and try to position it on top of a heaping trash can that someone used to dispose of their houshold garbage because they did not want to wait until trash day....

OjoRojo
July 19th, 2005, 09:01 PM
In the last month we (our building) got two tickets (from NYC Sanitation) in the last month for something like "I observed a tissue, a paper cup, and broken glass 12 inches from curb". One ticket was on a saturday afternoon and the other on a wednesday afternoon.

This is not a busy block (compared to other blocks in Harlem) But all day people walk by or kids from the school (across the street) run by... at all hours and just drop tissue, cups, cans and bottles on the street. The other thing is where people go shopping on 125th street and park on our block (122 st), when they come back, before they drive off they open their car doors and leave their car garbage on the curb and drive off. You see this everyday. An empty parking spot with some trash (coffee cup or fast food containers) right on the curb.

We try to keep our block clean, and pick each other's garbage as we walk in and out of our homes everyday. But if we are at work (weekday) or out visiting family (weekends) and someone is just drove off and left their garbage on the curb... then 3 seconds later SANITATION drives by and gives us a $100 ticket. Not fair! Why don't they go after the people dropping garbage?

We can't be on the lookout every 15 minutes 24 hrs a day. It would make a little more sense if the garbage was there for 24 hrs... but it looks like the city created a new law to create more revenue for themselves.

Why don't they (NYPD or NYSD) enforce the no littering laws anymore? Go after the people littering? Do it for a few weeks straight... or days at random.

Why make the home owners pay for other people's sins?

What's next? Are they going to come after us for illegally parked cars in front of our property? If a crime is committed in front of our home (drug deal, theft,etc) will we be arrested and held responsible for that (and let the actual perps walk away)?

Everyday I see people littering like if teh world is their toilet. I see them on teh street, I see them on teh subway (throwing into teh track - or in the subway cars). Why do they do that? I think a whole generation has grown up with out the fear of littering laws.

And us older folks can do anything, we don't have guns and badges... it would be hard for us to confront violators.

You want cleaner streets? Start giving tickets for littering.

Ninjahedge
July 20th, 2005, 08:30 AM
Get a camera and start taking pictures. Remember to get them leaving the trash and their license plate number.

You don't have to be the police in this, but it may help things.

Also, be careful when typing "the". I make the same mistake, but:


Everyday I see people littering like if teh world is their toilet. I see them on teh street, I see them on teh subway (throwing into teh track - or in the subway cars)...

I think this happens when I am trying to type fast and I am not paying attension to what I am writing.......

JeffreyNYC
July 26th, 2005, 11:16 AM
In the last month we (our building) got two tickets (from NYC Sanitation) ...


I couldn't agree with you more! I've been known to say things to people when I see them litter. I'll probably be shot one of these days in our gun obsessed country. That being said, NYC's dirty streets is my pet peeve!
The amount of garbage on the streets is dispicable. Travel abroad, look at other cites of our size and you see that all this mess is avoidable!
We can send people into space but we can't clean our streets. Hmmm?
While I agree that giving tickets is a great way to stop the littering the Department of Sanitation does a terrible job of street sweeping and street cleaning. Have you seen them fly by on their street cleaners? They go so fast they'd be lucky to pick up a cigarette butt.

robster
July 30th, 2005, 09:23 AM
NYC is super clean, cleaners all over sweeping the streets. I think Guiliani introduced this. Citys in Scotland have much more litter than in NY.

robster
July 30th, 2005, 12:21 PM
Even the south bronx is clean. Buildings boarded up with quality wood and sorrounded by spotless pavements.

czsz
July 31st, 2005, 07:56 PM
NYC is super clean, cleaners all over sweeping the streets.

Take a walk to 28th and Broadway around 7pm. Or have a gander at a puke puddle lapping against a Midtown kerb on a weekend night. Walk the streets on a steamy late August night after the garbage along the sidewalks has been baked by the sun all day.

I've no idea the general condition of Scotland's cleanliness, but other parts of the UK and Europe I've visited have been spotless by comparison. Actually, one only has to take the PATH to Hoboken or Jersey City (dull by comparison though they are) to see what a place which takes greater care over its cleanliness looks like.

ablarc
July 31st, 2005, 08:48 PM
I remember it when it was really dirty. Whenever I visit these days I'm amazed at how immaculate it is. I can take pictures free of litter just about everywhere. Amazing!

ryan
August 1st, 2005, 10:59 AM
Take a walk around Paris, the world's biggest tourist attraction, and then tell me you think NYC is clean.

bkmonkey
August 1st, 2005, 01:35 PM
There are certain parts of NYC, that are dirty, and certain parts that are clean. For example, the garment district from 34th street south to Worth Square, and you will see one of the dirtiest parts of broadway, take a walk on the upper east side, or Downtown Brooklyn, or even Times Square.

JeffreyNYC
August 1st, 2005, 02:37 PM
I don't think anyone disputes that many areas of the city are immaculate! Central Park being one, Midtown, Upper Eastside, Upper Westside, etc. but take a walk in virtually any area of Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Lower Eastside, etc..the less touristy areas, although equally expensive, if not more, are filthy, not to mention the subways.
The smells and garbage that litter the streets are literally beyond belief of ANY western civlized city!

Thumbs down to New York and it's sanitation department!

stache
August 1st, 2005, 07:57 PM
Chelsea seems pretty clean to me -

ryan
August 1st, 2005, 08:52 PM
You all have very different ideas of clean than I have. Lots of superlatives come to mind when I think of NYC. Sanitation is on the complaint list. Clean is a place I would walk barefoot, or would sit on the sidewalk. No cesspools along the curb, no fermenting garbage odors, no sandstorm of grit in the air... no rat sightings(!)

What do you all consider dirty?

sfenn1117
August 1st, 2005, 11:32 PM
In the end it comes down to people. It's unreal to me how much people litter in NYC. I hate it and wish people would stop.....we need harsher penalties. If a cop sees someone littering, give them a ticket on the spot. It'll catch on pretty damn quick.

It's NY's biggest problem. Even my quiet side street in Bay Ridge is dirty. I used to clean up before I left for school, then I would have to do it again when I got home, and do it again before bed. I shouldn't have to.

robster.
August 2nd, 2005, 07:32 AM
You should praise your sanitation dept. When I was in NY in feb there were loads of cleaners walking about.

Jeffreyny
August 2nd, 2005, 11:49 PM
You all have very different ideas of clean than I have. Lots of superlatives come to mind when I think of NYC. Sanitation is on the complaint list. Clean is a place I would walk barefoot, or would sit on the sidewalk. No cesspools along the curb, no fermenting garbage odors, no sandstorm of grit in the air... no rat sightings(!)

What do you all consider dirty?


Dirty is just what you described. You described NYC...dirty.

Jeffreyny
August 2nd, 2005, 11:53 PM
Chelsea seems pretty clean to me -


When was the last time you walked around 7th and 23rd? I saw a cesspool with garbage in it today that looked like it had some nuclear waste in it as well.
If that's clean to you then you're oblivious to the filth of this city just like many New Yorkers are.

stache
August 3rd, 2005, 09:24 AM
Are you talking about that puddle on the corner? There's some kind of construction going on. If you want things to be perfect all the time try a gated community.

Ninjahedge
August 3rd, 2005, 10:05 AM
Take a walk to 28th and Broadway around 7pm.

You mean right by the quaint "outdoor mall" after they all close up? The people shopping there have not been known to be the most conscientious of litter-minders. That and the store owners are not too great about it either.

But saying 7pm is not fair. It is like saying go to giants stadium an hour after a concert and complain about the mess and the traffic...


Or have a gander at a puke puddle lapping against a Midtown kerb on a weekend night.

You think NYC has a monopoly on that? Try areas of Hoboken at about 3AM before the night-sweepers have had a go at Washington Street...

I agree it is not nice, but I do not see it everywhere...


Walk the streets on a steamy late August night after the garbage along the sidewalks has been baked by the sun all day.

Where is this? It is not in the village, it isn't in Tribecca. Maybe Chinatown, but I don't think they get much sun down there... ;)


I've no idea the general condition of Scotland's cleanliness, but other parts of the UK and Europe I've visited have been spotless by comparison. Actually, one only has to take the PATH to Hoboken or Jersey City (dull by comparison though they are) to see what a place which takes greater care over its cleanliness looks like.

Liek I said, Hoboken is not the greatest when it comes to cleanliness. I think it is just cleaner in general because less people come through here. Take a close look at some of the streets and do some mental math. It only takes one section of a newspaper to blow around a streetcorner to make it look like a sty.

How many people walk through that corner with newspapers every day? It only takes one to be an arse and mess it up until the cleaning crew gets in...


I do think that there are areas that are disgusting (chinatown near the fishmarkets, the OLD meatpacking district, and some other areas) but NYC is a lot cleaner than it used to be.

At this point I would not call it filthy, but I would not call it neat either. Just somewhere in between.... Tolerable in 90% by modern standards.

Ninjahedge
August 3rd, 2005, 10:08 AM
You all have very different ideas of clean than I have. Lots of superlatives come to mind when I think of NYC. Sanitation is on the complaint list. Clean is a place I would walk barefoot, or would sit on the sidewalk. No cesspools along the curb, no fermenting garbage odors, no sandstorm of grit in the air... no rat sightings(!)

What do you all consider dirty?

Dirty or filthy?

Filthy would not be justthe cesspools, although I do see some of those in some areas.

It would be broken sidewalks with grass and dog poo all over them. It would be broken glass all over the city parks. It would be basketball courts with rusted hoops and bags of trash. It would be dumpsters and garbage cans overflowing (you do get a bit of that).

It would be similar to what we had with the garbage strike about 5-6 years ago. In August.

Ninjahedge
August 3rd, 2005, 10:10 AM
Are you talking about that puddle on the corner? There's some kind of construction going on. If you want things to be perfect all the time try a gated community.

He just wants to walk barefoot down 9th avenue on his way to work.... ;)

NYatKNIGHT
August 3rd, 2005, 01:11 PM
Filthy is the more correct term, in my opinion, for a large portion od the city - and yes it certainly is in the Village and in Tribeca especially. My street in Soho is filthy - pools of greasy garbage juice, high mountains of open trash bags that get strewn across the sidewalk and kicked to the sides. Days can go by before anything is swept up. The general litter is constantly scattered about. It smells and it's gross to look at. The side of the street that allows parking for commercial vehicals only from 8am to 6pm rarely, if ever, gets swept - I've called 311 about it to no avail.

You must not notice it as much if you don't live with it, as the arbitrary "90% tolerable by modern standards" implies. We can place the blame on the sanitation department or the lack of trash cans, but to claim that it isn't so filthy dirty shows how high of a tolerance people around here have for litter and that they themselves are partially to blame. And we certainly shouldn't be satisfied that it's cleaner than it used to be, that's not saying much.

Ninjahedge
August 3rd, 2005, 02:32 PM
Nah, I have the same, as I have said, living in Hoboken.

Seeing someone vomit on your front steps in the middle of the afternoon (resident wino. And it was real wine too!!!!) is not what I would call immaculate.

But the thing is, it depends on a lot. The city is MUCH cleaner than it was 20-30 years ago. Cleaner compared to what? Compared to itself and similar HUGE urban areas of high density, mixed use and mixed demographic composition.


If you compare it to Colorado City or some other smaller place that was built with things like roads that can accomodate vehicles being taken into account in the original design, it is not a fair comparison.....

Do I think it can be improved? Yes. (Try blading through some of that crap). Do I think it is filty? Nope.

If you want to be really picky, you can go and measure square footage of "filthy" portions of the city compared to square footage of relatively clean and you will not get a very high number.....


I think the reason you have a problem near you is just as you said it. It is commercial parking/loading/whatever for most of the day. They can't send sweepers around.

That, combined with the budget for NYC and everyone screaming about taxes every election, there is not much more they CAN do. Maybe NYC should think of going the way of NJ and privatising garbage pickup and have people pay for it out of pocket. That would also not be popular, but at least it would relieve them the responsibility of having to deal with them as much....

czsz
August 3rd, 2005, 08:03 PM
Tokyo seems spotless, and it hardly has a lower density of pedestrians on the sidewalks. What is its strategy?

ablarc
August 3rd, 2005, 08:05 PM
^ Clean people.

Jeffreyny
August 3rd, 2005, 09:48 PM
Are you talking about that puddle on the corner? There's some kind of construction going on. If you want things to be perfect all the time try a gated community.



No, I wasn't talking about "that" puddle. There are many puddles like the one I described. Your comment on the gated community might appeal to many but not to me. I only wish to see a city like New York in an apparently civilized country like the US. try to resemble other international cities just as big or bigger when it comes to cleanliness. If you've ever spent anytime in Europe or Asias capitals you'll know that New York is by far the dirtiest!
If you accept this then that makes you a typical New Yorker. The problem is it could be alot better if anyone really cared.

stache
August 4th, 2005, 01:40 AM
IMO Bangkok is dirtier but in a different way.

NYatKNIGHT
August 4th, 2005, 11:33 AM
The city is MUCH cleaner than it was 20-30 years ago. Cleaner compared to what? Compared to itself and similar HUGE urban areas of high density, mixed use and mixed demographic composition
Again, so what if it's cleaner than it was in the past? It was abysmal before, it's only better than abysmal now. And, cleaner compared to other cities? No, it's certainly not. I'd take that bet.

If you want to be really picky, you can go and measure square footage of "filthy" portions of the city compared to square footage of relatively clean and you will not get a very high number.....
Clearly you made that up and I'd bet you're wrong. Then again, it depends on what you consider "relatively clean". From what I've seen, east coast metropolis residents have a very different standard of what that is compared to the rest of the country. Besides, I don't want "relatively" clean. I want clean, not sanitized, just pick up the damn garbage - it's everywhere.

They can't send sweepers around.It's not that they can't, they don't, although they claim that they do. Even if they can't then what's their solution? To NEVER clean that side of the street? That's not acceptable.

Every once in a while I'll see a guy with a broom pushing a garbage can around. He's supposed to be sweeping up the litter, but he passes most of it, only ceremonially picking up an occasional scrap to look busy.

The point is, he doesn't really care, nor does his supervisor, nor do enough residents. I lived away from the city for over ten years and got used to being more aware of litter. People in Denver will pick up random trash off the street and bring it to the nearest garbage can. Hell, I started doing that too. It has nothing to do with population. It's a different attitude or tolerance for litter than we have here, and it was the biggest REadjustment that I had to make moving back here - by far.

And yes, Hoboken is gross too. Litter everywhere. For those who don't see it, look closer. The little stuff counts too.

Ninjahedge
August 4th, 2005, 03:30 PM
Well, it is difficult to get down to the schnibbles (especially cigarette butts).

But I am in a very nice area that is, except for the area near the la-la bar by the Christopher Path station, very neat. Namely, Hudson street above Houston. The whole area in there is very clean (for the most part)...

One area I will say is one of the worst that gets me pissed when i walk it is that section of Broadway with all the vendors/stores open. That has got to be one of the worst areas I have seen (outside of slop).

But again, as for the % of area and comparing it to other cities, it is not the size that matters, but the density. It has been a while since I was up in Boston, but how is it there? Also, how is Chicago?

The main problem is that there really is not a city that can be fairly compared to NYC in the terms of BOTH size and density with the added blessing/curse of having a bunch of americans and tourists from EVERYWHERE (including american tourists).


So, regardless of how messy you think it is, how can they realistically fix it?

ryan
August 4th, 2005, 08:55 PM
the area near the la-la bar by the Christopher Path station

which bar?

Ninjahedge
August 5th, 2005, 08:54 AM
The one right next to it with the rainbow awning.

There is usually a nice puddle due to poorly designed drainaga, and being a bar, they put garbage out that sometimes gets rifled through by drunks or the homless (sometimes both) and leaves nice streams of various goo on the sidewalk.

I am aware of this because I blade to the PATH station there from work, and you have to be careful what you run your wheels through... :P

Jeffreyny
August 5th, 2005, 10:21 PM
Well, it is difficult to get down to the schnibbles (especially cigarette butts).

But I am in a very nice area that is, except for the area near the la-la bar by the Christopher Path station, very neat. Namely, Hudson street above Houston. The whole area in there is very clean (for the most part)...

One area I will say is one of the worst that gets me pissed when i walk it is that section of Broadway with all the vendors/stores open. That has got to be one of the worst areas I have seen (outside of slop).

But again, as for the % of area and comparing it to other cities, it is not the size that matters, but the density. It has been a while since I was up in Boston, but how is it there? Also, how is Chicago?

The main problem is that there really is not a city that can be fairly compared to NYC in the terms of BOTH size and density with the added blessing/curse of having a bunch of americans and tourists from EVERYWHERE (including american tourists).


So, regardless of how messy you think it is, how can they realistically fix it?



Chicago is spotless for the most part. You could eat off it's streets and alley ways.
Concerning your comments on size, density and tourists in NY., one would assume you've not traveled much out of the US. to make a statement like that.
New York's size, density and population have nothing to do with it's filthyness, it's the residents oblivion and tolerance of it.
No matter what the size and density, the filth in NY. would not be tollerated in ANY other western civilized city!

Ninjahedge
August 8th, 2005, 08:50 AM
Chicago is spotless for the most part. You could eat off it's streets and alley ways.
Concerning your comments on size, density and tourists in NY., one would assume you've not traveled much out of the US. to make a statement like that.
New York's size, density and population have nothing to do with it's filthyness, it's the residents oblivion and tolerance of it.
No matter what the size and density, the filth in NY. would not be tollerated in ANY other western civilized city!


I will ask you again.

WHAT IS YOUR SOLUTION oh all-knowing one.


Get off your dang high horse, stop insulting everyone that disagrees with you and offer a solution instead of complaining about how everyone else in the town makes it horrible for you.


;)

:P

ZippyTheChimp
August 8th, 2005, 09:27 AM
^ Clean people.
The lack of trash storage areas and the infrequency of pick-ups are problems that are more easily corrected than the major cause of dirty streets - the behavior of people.

People who wouldn't just toss a water bottle or coffee cup into the street think it's ok to just leave it on any flat surface.

When West St was being rebuilt, the sidewalks were lined with precast concrete utility vaults waiting to be buried. They quickly became garbage receptacles.

Last Sunday morning while driving on a deserted West End Ave in the W50s, I saw a cab sitting in the left-turn lane, the rear door was open, and a passenger (or family member) was dumping garbage onto the street.

My grandmother used to wash the sidewalk in front of her Brooklyn home every morning.

Ninjahedge
August 8th, 2005, 11:00 AM
Zip, what do you think these people are thinking when they are doing this?

-It isn't my neighborhood.
-I pay taxes to have this done for me
-Street cleaners come by and pick this up anyway
-There is someone lower than me that will pick up MY trash.


I see combinations of this, and I have been sorely tempted to call people out on it. All I know is that will earn me their hatred and they will simply find another corner to dump on.......

czsz
August 8th, 2005, 12:50 PM
I think there's a certain multiplier effect, in that, observing a street covered in trash, one assumes that adding to the mess is no big deal, and never has further qualms about depositing that empty bottle or besotted napkin wheresoever one pleases.

The city should at least replace the tiny wire garbage cans positioned at every corner. They contribute to this problem by making even properly disposed garbage visible (not to mention more smellable), by inadequately providing for the amount of refuse an average corner can accumulate, and by being often inconducive to those who prefer to make 3-point shots into the can, only to move on if their attempt is unsuccessful.

NY_Yankees_1979
August 8th, 2005, 05:17 PM
sorry but the streets of NYC. are far dirtier than Detroit's. New York City is also 8-10 times bigger than Detroit.

BrooklynRider
August 8th, 2005, 06:27 PM
I think the biggest problem is frequency of trash collection (i.e. public street trash receptacles, residential trash pickups, commercial pick ups).

It is compounded by issues I see as health hazards such as restaurats throwing away fetid, rotting meat without any standard, sanitary disposal method beyond a plastic bag on the street.

Poor street and sidewalk cleaning - the rate of cleaning (i.e. street sweepers) seems sufficient, but going at 35 miles an hour - they're just tossing the garbage around - not picking it up.

People who are filthy slobs. And, THAT is a socio-economic issue.

ryan
August 8th, 2005, 06:38 PM
People who are filthy slobs. And, THAT is a socio-economic issue.

You mean like the slobery is a class thing? I don't know about that. I see a variety of people littering... not just the less affluent. If I were to call a group on littering, it seems like I usually see garbage thrown out of big expensive SUV's...

stache
August 8th, 2005, 08:50 PM
Honest to God what always gets me is walking by a SRO or project and see someone casually tossing trash out of their window, plus people on the street tossing things when a container is a half a block away. WTF?

Ninjahedge
August 9th, 2005, 08:39 AM
Ryan, there is more of a bent to litter the less appreciation you have for things.

And nowadays driving an SUV does not mean you are affluent...


*cough*bling lease*cough*

BrooklynRider
August 9th, 2005, 10:30 AM
You mean like the slobery is a class thing? I don't know about that. I see a variety of people littering... not just the less affluent. If I were to call a group on littering, it seems like I usually see garbage thrown out of big expensive SUV's...

People who don't value things don't take care of things. It is not just about being poor. A person can be very wealthy and come from a place or country where littering is fine - as long as it isn't on their own property. I said "socio-economc" - you said "class".

I walk down my street and will pick up trash and throw it away. My neighborhood, I guess, could be considered affluent. Menus and Pennysaver newspapers will sit in my building foyer or on the stoop - unless I pick them up. I keep the yard clean and bushes trim in my yard. The other tenants in my building believe that it is "not their job" because they are just renting. They would probably be considered middle and upper-middle class - they are all white and one is asian. I just have different values and don't want to live in a litter / graffiti infested area. So, again, it is not "class" it is "value systems" - "socio-economic" sets the circumstances - not the class. There are some very classy poor folk I know and some wealthy filthy pigs.

TLOZ Link5
August 9th, 2005, 04:51 PM
New York City is also 8-10 times bigger than Detroit.

Not to mention that bustling pedestrian traffic in Detroit is rare, given that so much of the city is so empty.

czsz
August 9th, 2005, 04:54 PM
Yes, but look, this "New York is larger and denser than x cleaner city and is therefore naturally more dirty" argument is completely fallacious. Tokyo is larger than New York, and has quite a few pedestrian precincts with a higher degree of foot traffic, and is cleaner than even most small American cities. The same is true for numerous large cities in Europe, Asia, and South America, which are not lacking for busy sidewalks.

TLOZ Link5
August 9th, 2005, 04:55 PM
Tokyo seems spotless, and it hardly has a lower density of pedestrians on the sidewalks. What is its strategy?


Possibly a layover of ancient Japanese culture. Cleanliness and neatness of appearance were practically sacred as they were part of a preparation for death, in the hopes of leaving the best corpse possible. In the feudal era, samurai would bathe before they went to battle. Anything less would reflect poorly on the individual, in life and in death.

We have to face facts that we non-Japanese devils are just dirty by comparison. :D

NY_Yankees_1979
August 10th, 2005, 05:40 AM
Not to mention that bustling pedestrian traffic in Detroit is rare, given that so much of the city is so empty. yeah that is true, Detroit's total city probably equals the Bronx as an area and population.

Ninjahedge
August 10th, 2005, 09:27 AM
Yes, but look, this "New York is larger and denser than x cleaner city and is therefore naturally more dirty" argument is completely fallacious. Tokyo is larger than New York, and has quite a few pedestrian precincts with a higher degree of foot traffic, and is cleaner than even most small American cities. The same is true for numerous large cities in Europe, Asia, and South America, which are not lacking for busy sidewalks.

Tokyo is a place where it is considered bad to eat, drink or do just about ANYTHING at the same time as walking, so....


Also, Tokyo and some areas sell womens dirty underwear in vending machines. (active public behavior repression has a tendency to come out in some weird ways)

I guess it all depends on your definition of "dirty"... ;)

Oh, BTW, you can also debate the european thing there. I hear you have to be careful where you step in Paris. Damn poodles.

ZippyTheChimp
August 10th, 2005, 09:33 AM
Clean is overrated.

JeffreyNYC
August 10th, 2005, 04:16 PM
I will ask you again.

WHAT IS YOUR SOLUTION oh all-knowing one.


Get off your dang high horse, stop insulting everyone that disagrees with you and offer a solution instead of complaining about how everyone else in the town makes it horrible for you.


;)

:P

I think I have stated what I think might be reasons why New York is so dirty.
Those same reasons can be revearsed to make it reasonably clean.
To reiterate just a few rather than making you go back and read the entire thread again:
1. Monitor the job the street cleaners do. You need to go slower than 40mph. to be successful at collecting garbage from the curb.
2. Have street sweepers sweep garbage from the side walk into the street cleaners path.
3. Empty garbage cans more often.
4. Ticket litterers. (This would pay for the cost of more efficient street cleaning and emptying of garbage cans.)
5. Propose a design for some sort of dumpster for collecting garbage on garbage collection days instead of pilling mounds of garbage bags on all NYC. sidewalks.
6. Educate people! The city could simply implement some sort of "Clean Streets NYC" campaign!

Bottom line is that it is NOT a priority in New York and it should be!
Have you seen street cleaners in action in Europe in cities like Paris or Milan?
Truly amazing. You'll see why their cities are far cleaner than New York.

JeffreyNYC
August 10th, 2005, 04:34 PM
Oh, BTW, you can also debate the european thing there. I hear you have to be careful where you step in Paris. Damn poodles.[/QUOTE]



Very true! It's funny how the streets are clean but there's dog s**t all over the streets.
Certainly nothing is perfect!

Troc
December 29th, 2005, 02:53 AM
I always wanted to live in NYC but it is a truly disgusting city. I have lived in 2 European cities and 3 American ones and visited NY numerous times and its filth bewilders me considering the money that is there. I have seen cleaner subways in 3rd world countries. The streets reek all the time - either of trash because it always seems to be trash day everywhere, or of nasty unclean sidewalks or hot restaurant stenches. It seems like everyone's apartment I've been to is infested with bugs, mice, rats, or all of the above. I can't believe the sidewalks and streets are such a slimy, bumpy mess with such an incredible tax base - can't they power wash and sweep them at night? Sadly, this horrendous filth is one of the reasons I haven't moved there. It just seems like such a dump in comparison to anywhere. I truly admire the Europeans for their civic pride - tiled, clean sidewalks; clean, attractive subways; immaculate streets, parks, and other places; regulated, attractive advertising (like storefront signs), even landscaping and flowers! There's no reason NY has to look like such a ghetto with all that money and a wealth of intellectual resources that could help solve this problem.

Troc
December 29th, 2005, 03:02 AM
for the cleanliness of the sidewalk that their property fronts. If NYC can hire people to ticket cars, they can find people to ticket building owners. If the building owner can not get out and hose down a small bit of sidewalk each day, then they can hire someone to, or make their tenants who have storefronts there do it. In the burbs you can't just allow junk to pile up on the lawn or sidewalk because there are city ordinances. Just like when it snows, you are responsible for snow removal! There must be similar ordinances in NYC, but no enforcement.

lofter1
December 29th, 2005, 11:22 AM
There must be similar ordinances in NYC, but no enforcement.
Ya hit the nail on the head ...

Budget for enforcement in many sectors (buildings, housing, sanitation, plus more) have been systematically cut over the years.

Strattonport
December 29th, 2005, 12:11 PM
I often find myself in Flushing for various reasons (errands, going to to lunch, whatever) and it's probably the dirtiest community I've been to in Queens.

MrSpice
December 29th, 2005, 12:23 PM
New York City very clean in those places where rich people live. If you walk down Park Avenue in 60s, 70s and 80s - it's spotless. I guess the sheer number of people and eating establishements makes keeping the sidewalks clean a difficult task. But it really depends on the neighborhood and the people that live there. All the neighborhoods where clean, educated and wealthy people live are pertty clean - Soho, Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Midtown East, etc. And many other neighborhoods are dirty because people living there don't really care about cleanliness and throw stuff on the sidewalks.

czsz
December 29th, 2005, 02:18 PM
Yes, didn't you know it's oh so bourgeois to care about cleanliness and health standards and whatnot. All the cool kids in the East Village and Lower East Side and Williamsburg throw their shit on the sidewalk...on the way to the global warming protest. And don't you dare complain a bit about it to them...how could anyone who "cares about art" not appreciate the "poetic chaos" of the city?

And then there's what I call the "circle of spite;" i.e., people who take the subway rationalise their littering as a means to get revenge upon the MTA's lazy, inconsiderate workforce; the MTA's employees fail to adequately clean the stations out of lack of concern for the subway's rude, inconsiderate ridership. Add to this the fact that most of Manhattan is cleaned by poor workers from the outer boroughs who probably feel a pang of pride upon leaving crap to fester outside the Man's cathedrals, parks, and restaurants.

Schadenfrau
December 29th, 2005, 02:42 PM
I'm clean, educated, and don't litter. Does this mean I can move to one of these spotless neighborhoods? Please tell me where I can find the application. I'm compiling my references as I type.

ZippyTheChimp
December 29th, 2005, 02:44 PM
SoHo is dirty.

stache
December 29th, 2005, 02:47 PM
Not a single trash can at Journal Sq. - Probably some bogus security issue -

ryan
December 29th, 2005, 04:18 PM
Not a single trash can at Journal Sq. - Probably some bogus security issue -

Why don't you carry your trash to the next station - or outside to a garbage can?

stache
December 29th, 2005, 04:31 PM
I refuse (bad pun) to carry trash off one train, hang on to it while waiting for the next train, then shephard it to my destination.

ryan
December 29th, 2005, 04:42 PM
I refuse (bad pun) to carry trash off one train, hang on to it while waiting for the next train, then shephard it to my destination.

What kind of trash are you generating on a train that it's such a burden? I don't even remember the last time I had to throw something away on the subway.

lofter1
December 29th, 2005, 04:55 PM
Sometimes I'll leave a section of the NY Times for another rider to read. Other than that I can't see any reason to leave your stuff behind you in a car.

Jeffreyny
December 29th, 2005, 08:45 PM
Why don't you carry your trash to the next station - or outside to a garbage can?



Good idea. I just moved to Williamsburg and there is literally not a garbage can on all of Broadway.
I carry my trash all the way to midtown where I get off the train and deposit it in it's proper receptical.
Now if all New Yorkers would just carry their garbage for miles until they find a garbage can New York would be a very clean city...?!

antinimby
December 29th, 2005, 08:51 PM
Sometimes I'll leave a section of the NY Times for another rider to read. Other than that I can't see any reason to leave your stuff behind you in a car.LOL, the least desirable section I'd bet. House & Garden or something like that. :)

lofter1
December 29th, 2005, 10:37 PM
^ Nope ... usually Metro, Sports or Business.

stache
December 30th, 2005, 03:50 AM
I tend to first sift through the paper and eliminate what I don't want to read.

ZippyTheChimp
December 30th, 2005, 10:49 AM
I find one littering habit both annoying and perplexing:

Jersey-barriers have notches in the ends that allow them to be linked together. These pockets seem to be convenient receptacles for small refuse, like fast-food wrappers, cigarette packs, banana peels.

What's the mind-set here? As long as it doesn't hit the ground, it's not litter?

Yes, better to cram it into a spot where no one is going to clean it out, and let it fester for a few months.

ryan
December 30th, 2005, 11:36 AM
Good idea. I just moved to Williamsburg and there is literally not a garbage can on all of Broadway.

Funny, when I walk around Williamsburg I see a garbage can in front of nearly every building.

czsz
December 30th, 2005, 05:24 PM
At 96th St. recently, I saw a man throw an empty liquor bottle out of the train while it was stopped and onto the platform.

TLOZ Link5
December 30th, 2005, 09:50 PM
People don't do these things in their own homes. Why on earth would they do them in public?

In any case, I've seen many parts of London, Naples and Athens that were pretty grungy.

NYatKNIGHT
January 3rd, 2006, 02:35 PM
Budget for enforcement in many sectors (buildings, housing, sanitation, plus more) have been systematically cut over the years.
You would think there would be enough potential fines out there to pay for itself.

Ninjahedge
January 3rd, 2006, 03:06 PM
New York City very clean in those places where rich people live. If you walk down Park Avenue in 60s, 70s and 80s - it's spotless. I guess the sheer number of people and eating establishements makes keeping the sidewalks clean a difficult task. But it really depends on the neighborhood and the people that live there. All the neighborhoods where clean, educated and wealthy people live are pertty clean - Soho, Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Midtown East, etc. And many other neighborhoods are dirty because people living there don't really care about cleanliness and throw stuff on the sidewalks.

It is everywhere near the city.

In Hoboken I confronted this one guy that simply dumped the trash from his car onto the street. It was only a plastic bag, but just teh way he stood there and did it really irked me.

I really felt like picking him up and throwing HIM in the trash.

Confronting him, the only reaction I got was "Mind your own buisness".

WTH? Him littering in the town I live in is not my buisness? The attitude was astounding.


So I did what any civic minded person would do. I reported to the police. Unfortunately, they would need my name and addy on a complaint. The last thing I would need would be him coming and chucking a rock through my window.

I understand that my name is needed in filing a complaint, but why are we so lax with enforcement, and why are so many people so careless about keeping things clean?

Why do they not care?

Ninjahedge
January 3rd, 2006, 03:10 PM
You would think there would be enough potential fines out there to pay for itself.

You would have to pull a Bloomberg with that and up the price of the tickets like he did with parking tickets.

Although I see the problem of double and triple parking in NYC has all but dissapeared... :rolleyes:

ZippyTheChimp
January 3rd, 2006, 05:07 PM
Early one Sunday...

West End Ave in the W60s. No traffic.

A cab was stopped in the center zone, but not in the left-turn lane. There were passengers in the cab, but I'm not sure if they were fares. The driver's door was open, and the driver leaned out and placed a bag of fast-food containers right oin the middle of the street.

Couldn't even pull over to the curb.

Utlimate littering

Nocturnalsku
August 11th, 2006, 09:27 AM
Of course NYC is dirty, it's one of the dirtiest cities in the world. It's mpt right with so many people saying nothing can be done about it because there are so many people here and it is expected. I've been to similar sized cites or larger that are 100X cleaner than NYC like Tokyo, London, and Sao Paulo just to mention a few. I think more than anything else it's the character of the people who live in NYC that contributes to this. Many of NYC residents are poor immigrants and many have serious problems, the least of their concerns being the cleanliness of the city. People simply don't care about throwing garbage around or even seeing mounds of garbage on the streets.

lofter1
August 11th, 2006, 09:52 AM
Two main problems in my area (SoHo) regarding garbage on the streets sidewalks:

1) Far too few garbage cans. By the end of each day the cans on the streets are brimming full, with garbage spilling over the top and onto the sidewalk into the gutters all around. People just pile it on as there is no place else to put it.

2) Street vendors -- who are everywhere on the sidewalks down here -- just fold up their tables at the end of the day and take off. They do nothing to clean the area around where they have been selling. Vendors should be required to sweep up garbage on the sidewalks and in the gutters at the end of the day within 10 feet of where they have been selling.

Property owners must clean the sidewalks in front of their buildings each morning. However this does nothing to take care of the garbage from the day before.

Therefore garbage and trash abounds from 6PM until 9AM each and everyday.

Disgusting.

This is easily remedied but no one does anything about it.

Schadenfrau
August 11th, 2006, 11:35 AM
I'd blame the DOS before I started pointing fingers at supposedly careless immigrants. In places like Tokyo, garbage is picked up on something close to an hourly basis. In NYC, I've seen the same garbage sitting in a can or on the ground for a week.

Coleridge
August 12th, 2006, 06:02 PM
I was walking along a residential sidewalk in the low 20's, and two big rats suddenly scurried out of a pile of garbage bags on the sidewalk, and ran in my direction. I thought they were chasing me, so I quickly ran.

fortunately they were chasing each other. but boy was I freaked out!

ablarc
August 12th, 2006, 06:10 PM
Hourly garbage pickup in Tokyo?

Schadenfrau
August 12th, 2006, 06:31 PM
That's what it looked like when I was there. The streets were filled with people sweeping and collecting garbage, which is something you almost never see in NYC.

ablarc
August 12th, 2006, 07:04 PM
We could have that if we raised taxes.

Strattonport
August 12th, 2006, 07:05 PM
Like that would ever happen...

ablarc
August 12th, 2006, 07:09 PM
^ Suum quique.

ZippyTheChimp
August 12th, 2006, 07:28 PM
Would something like this (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6699&highlight=pigs) ever happen in Tokyo?

Strattonport
August 12th, 2006, 07:36 PM
^ Suum quique.

Oh, I agree with what's necessary to curtail a problem as big as this. I'm just iterating what the majority of people would say if they even heard the phrase "tax increase." A lot of people are like that - they complain about everything, but bring a solution they don't like and they shoot it down.

ablarc
August 12th, 2006, 07:38 PM
^ That's what I meant too: to each his own.

pianoman11686
August 12th, 2006, 08:25 PM
That's what it looked like when I was there. The streets were filled with people sweeping and collecting garbage, which is something you almost never see in NYC.


The Times Square Alliance has several people sweeping the streets in that area all day long. I always see them in their red outfits, picking up the trash, but they can never keep it clean. Just too many tourists, and the number of restaurants doesn't help either.

I've never been to Tokyo, but I can't imagine places like Shibuya being continuously spotless.

Schadenfrau
August 12th, 2006, 09:24 PM
From what I saw, Shibuya was actually very clean. Roppongi seemed to be the most garbage-filled neighborhood, but it still had nothing on most neighborhoods here.

Garbage clean-up in the outer boroughs is shameful here. Cans will fill up days before they're emptied.

krulltime
August 12th, 2006, 09:58 PM
Interesting observations there. Ok I have a question. Which neighborhoods in NYC do you guys think are the cleanest and which are the dirties?

krulltime
August 12th, 2006, 10:06 PM
Interesting observations there. Ok I have a question. Which neighborhoods in NYC do you guys think are the cleanest and which are the dirties?


For me, from the neighborhoods I have seen so far... these ones come to mind...

Cleanest:

Midtown
Upper East Side
Battery Park City
Upper West Side

Dirties:

China Town
Hunters Point
Times Square
Lower East Side

krulltime
August 15th, 2006, 12:11 AM
DUMP SLUMP
VACANT LOTS DISAPPEARING


By RICH CALDER

August 14, 2006 -- The city's residential building boom is so unprecedented that it's helped shine up the Big Apple.

City trash inspectors last year issued 167 illegal dumping summonses - a 17 percent drop from the 202 handed out in 2004 and a 44 percent decline over the 301 issued in 2003, a Post investigation found.

Robert D'Angelo, who heads the Sanitation Department's illegal-dumping task force, said the rise in housing construction was leading to a massive decline in vacant lots - easy targets for illegal dumpers.

"We've definitely seen many vacant lots in places where we'd catch people dumping become new housing or get boarded up because a developer is planning to build there," he said.

The city last year issued building permits for 31,599 new residential units, up 49 percent from 2003 and 515 percent from 1995, census data shows.

Despite seeing the improvement, Brooklyn still gets trashed like no other borough.

An analysis of Sanitation databases found that 80 - or 47.6 percent - of the 167 individuals or businesses issued illegal dumping summonses last year were nabbed in Brooklyn.

Queens was second, with 47 incidents, and The Bronx third, with 28.

Brooklyn's East Flatbush led all neighborhoods with 23 cases, including 19 that occurred along a two-block stretch of junkyards and garbage-strewn lots near Ralph Avenue.

In comparison, there were just 11 cases in Staten Island and one in Manhattan.


Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.

nochealerts
August 16th, 2006, 08:56 PM
Wow, this is an old topic...but I'll bite!

It's not so much the dirt, garbage and litter that I notice. It's filthy with ads more than litter, I think. It's the nasty STENCH that gets to me. In the subways, the streets, etc. Maybe it's me, I've recently moved back to the city after being in the country for 2 years. But the odor has been particularly strong for me lately. In the dirty wet moldy socks kinda way. :eek:

Jeffreyny
September 23rd, 2007, 08:14 PM
Wow, this is an old topic...but I'll bite!

It's not so much the dirt, garbage and litter that I notice. It's filthy with ads more than litter, I think. It's the nasty STENCH that gets to me. In the subways, the streets, etc. Maybe it's me, I've recently moved back to the city after being in the country for 2 years. But the odor has been particularly strong for me lately. In the dirty wet moldy socks kinda way. :eek:

The stench of New York streets is famous....in a bad way.
I've never clearly understood just why the streets smell so bad compared to other cities with the same density levels.
There is a massive issue here though of where to put the trash which without doubt creates "some" of the odor. New York is the only city in the world I've seen where mounds of trash bags litter the curbs on trash pick up days.
I don't think I'll ever get used to the filth of the city!

Schadenfrau
September 23rd, 2007, 08:36 PM
Which other cities are you talking about, JeffreyNY? A Tokyo rose by any other name smells just about as sweet.

czsz
September 24th, 2007, 02:00 AM
Having lived in New York four years it now seems that once-fresh Boston smells to me, and New York doesn't. Can one's nose be trained that way?

undertoes
September 24th, 2007, 03:20 AM
Um, has anyone been to Jamaica down by Parsons? That crap is dirty as hell, In the morning alot of the trash cans are flipped over and the garbage is all over the streets, Absolutely filthy

Archit_K
September 24th, 2007, 03:51 AM
Having lived in New York four years it now seems that once-fresh Boston smells to me, and New York doesn't. Can one's nose be trained that way?

New York stinks literally. I remember passing through all sorts of odors most of them were indescribable and yet I observe ppl not complaining or doing anything. So I guess one's nose can be trained that way.

Laura KC
September 24th, 2007, 09:36 AM
Having lived in New York four years it now seems that once-fresh Boston smells to me, and New York doesn't. Can one's nose be trained that way?

I think the intensity of a city's smell just depends on whether or not it's garbage day :)

Ninjahedge
September 24th, 2007, 10:43 AM
It was bad gong through Midtown today (near that "We eat like pigs BBQ YEEEHAH!" place).

There was the smell of aged organic refuse for a good 2-3 blocks. Really bad (I had to keep myself from wincing while walking).

NY is BAD.

And odd that you should mention Tokyo. Tokyo is IMMACULATE! People don't even toss their cigarette butts!

New York, in many of its areas, is horrible. There has to be a better way to collect and remove rubbish from the city than what we have now.

Want to see the worst? Go to Chinatown. Hang out near the Fish Markets. Look at the stacks of crates and refuse on the curb of the narrow street with people parked all up and down it with slime on the sidewalk, curb and flowing into the milky oil-topped off white streams and puddles that line the roadway.

August near the corner by the entrance to the S (fish market) has to be one of the stinkiest places you can be in the city.

Jeffreyny
September 25th, 2007, 09:59 PM
Which other cities are you talking about, JeffreyNY? A Tokyo rose by any other name smells just about as sweet.

Tokyo..? I've spent a good deal of time there and find the city spotless and certainly not smelly.

Jeffreyny
September 25th, 2007, 10:08 PM
It was bad gong through Midtown today (near that "We eat like pigs BBQ YEEEHAH!" place).

There was the smell of aged organic refuse for a good 2-3 blocks. Really bad (I had to keep myself from wincing while walking).

NY is BAD.

And odd that you should mention Tokyo. Tokyo is IMMACULATE! People don't even toss their cigarette butts!

New York, in many of its areas, is horrible. There has to be a better way to collect and remove rubbish from the city than what we have now.

Want to see the worst? Go to Chinatown. Hang out near the Fish Markets. Look at the stacks of crates and refuse on the curb of the narrow street with people parked all up and down it with slime on the sidewalk, curb and flowing into the milky oil-topped off white streams and puddles that line the roadway.

August near the corner by the entrance to the S (fish market) has to be one of the stinkiest places you can be in the city.

Your description is brilliant. While Chinatown is undoubtedly one of the worst smelling areas of the city you need not venture down there to experience much of the filth and stench you describe. I was walking around 12th and 1st last night and I can assure you that the slime, litter and smells were worse than any other western city I've encountered. In a civilized society in the world's wealthiest country that kind of filth is inexcusable.

Schadenfrau
September 25th, 2007, 10:35 PM
Maybe I walked in different areas of Tokyo than you're mentioning, but the city was certainly not scentless. And Ninja, I know we've gone over this before, but Tokyo has public ashtrays. New York does not.

I saw plenty of people piling up garbage on the streets in Tokyo- made far worse by the lack of public garbage cans. I certainly wouldn't say that it's a "dirtier" city than New York, but it's not the mystic utopia so frequently described on these boards, either.

Alonzo-ny
September 25th, 2007, 11:07 PM
Cant say ive ever noticed a bad smell, not a constant underlying stench anyway, and i come from a reasonably clean aired place. Of course everywhere smells if you standing next to a pile of garbage and its 100 degrees.

Ninjahedge
September 26th, 2007, 09:01 AM
Maybe I walked in different areas of Tokyo than you're mentioning, but the city was certainly not scentless. And Ninja, I know we've gone over this before, but Tokyo has public ashtrays. New York does not.

Your point being? I have seen people in Tokyo extinguishing and POCKETING their butts, while in NYC I see someone flik their but while standing next to an ashtray.


I saw plenty of people piling up garbage on the streets in Tokyo- made far worse by the lack of public garbage cans. I certainly wouldn't say that it's a "dirtier" city than New York, but it's not the mystic utopia so frequently described on these boards, either.

You want me to show you pictures?

You want to see the workers whose job it is to scrub the drainage channels in the subway?

Come on Schade. If yuo look hard enough I am sure you can find rubbish, but you do not have to look in NYC.

It is not as bad as some other areas, but with the qualifier of being one of the biggest and most successful cities in the world, it has a hell of a lot of refuse and people that just do not give enough of a damn to walk that extra 5 feet to throw it away.

Schadenfrau
September 26th, 2007, 09:44 AM
My point is that I'm tired of seeing people blather on about some idealized stereotype of Tokyo whenever this subject comes up.

lofter1
September 26th, 2007, 10:23 AM
Not sure of the figures for NYC < > Tokyo but it looks like, per capita nationwide, the USA generates nearly 2 X the garbage as does Japan ...

Typical USA resident (http://www.eng.utah.edu/~ch5153/Lecture_Notes/MSW.htm) creates 2 kg solid waste per day
4.6 lbs / day (1999) up from 2.7 lbs / day in 1960 ...

Japan’s 130 million people (http://www.columban.org/magazine/05-05_mccartin.html) produce about 52 million tons of garbage each year, which
equates to a very high per capita rate of nearly 2.5 pounds of garbage per person each day.

Ninjahedge
September 26th, 2007, 10:38 AM
No problem Schade.

I do not consider it a Utopia, by any means. The architecture is crowded and haphazard, everything feels so smushed together. There is this cleanliness which is unquestionable, but it may come from the fact that if they did not have it they would not be able to function properly (not enough space for clutter!!! At least, in public...).

Sometimes though, in our comparisons, we take the best example of a particular trait and use that as what we wish our own neighborhood to follow.

I enjoyed our vacation to Japan, but I was not struck with any sense of wanting to live there. Between the expense, crowded communities, attachment to techno-bling (you should see the cell-phone cadre over there! They spend more on it than almost anything else!) it is just not what I would consider to be a match for me. NYC and its surrounding areas are much more suited to me.

But that still does not mean I would not want to have more attension paid to keeping the streets clean.

A great example? Look at the hotels in the area, ESPECIALLY the hotels and living quarters around the park. I was walking down there last night. Although nearly deserted, there was not a SPECK of anything to be found on the ground.

I think if we were to change peoples attitudes towards things like litter, cigarette butts, gum and generally keeping things clean it will go a long way. The second thing is to change our means and methods of garbage handling and collection. Third? Finding ways to get people the products and services they need with less waste generated in the process (packaging, etc).

Improvement on any of them will make a difference, but all three together will be night and day.

Eugenious
September 26th, 2007, 10:50 AM
I think it's the type of waste that's encountered in NYC vs. Japan that matters. You will be hard pressed to find urine and feces in Japanese subways while in NY it's a pretty common due to the thousands of homeless living in the subways and the systems 24hr nature.

Jeffreyny
September 26th, 2007, 08:45 PM
My point is that I'm tired of seeing people blather on about some idealized stereotype of Tokyo whenever this subject comes up.

You're the one who brought of Tokyo in the first place.

I can give examples of many other cities with comparable density that are much cleaner than New York....infact come to think of it every city I've ever been to is cleaner than New York!

Meerkat
September 27th, 2007, 12:56 AM
The stench of New York streets is famous....in a bad way.
I've never clearly understood just why the streets smell so bad compared to other cities with the same density levels.
There is a massive issue here though of where to put the trash which without doubt creates "some" of the odor. New York is the only city in the world I've seen where mounds of trash bags litter the curbs on trash pick up days.
I don't think I'll ever get used to the filth of the city!

I can't say that i found NY any more dirty than any other large city. Litter is piled up on rubbish collection day everywhere i've been, in any country. If you want to see dirt go to Bombay - it's the most filthy city i've been to, and it really stinks.

By the way, Eugenious, are there really thousands of people living in the subway system?

Ninjahedge
September 27th, 2007, 09:13 AM
It is an exaggeration. And the Japanese have their homeless too, but they usually take over parks with little blue-tarped tents and th elike. Oddly enough, even their homeless are neater about where they live than we are!! ;)


BTW, Japan (Tokyo and even Kyoto) has cleaner subways because the people actually give a crap. They do not chuck stuff on the tracks, piss on them when they are coming home from a bar, and the people that work in them also care. They get on their hands and knees to scrub the drain troughs regularly. It is really something.

It is a two front issue. First being the people NOT LITTERING. Second is the people working there feeling some responsibility for their job and not trying to get away with as litle as possible.

Attitude.


But, that is just cleanliness. Merit in one characteristic does not mean they do not lack in others.

Despite the cleanliness, I do not think I could ever live in Tokyo... The place gave me the feeling of "fasion week" meets Wall Street meets 5th Avenue. VERY concious of appearance, style, and various forms of Bling.

A strong sense of materialism, but in a slightly different bent than our own. It kind of jangled me a bit.

To each their own!

undertoes
October 3rd, 2007, 01:54 PM
The Canal St train station, where you take the Q/R use to stink like hell, It probably still does

Jeffreyny
October 3rd, 2007, 02:14 PM
I can't say that i found NY any more dirty than any other large city. Litter is piled up on rubbish collection day everywhere i've been, in any country. If you want to see dirt go to Bombay - it's the most filthy city i've been to, and it really stinks.

By the way, Eugenious, are there really thousands of people living in the subway system?


I've never been to a city in Europe that has mountains of garbage piled up on rubbish day nor the amount of litter as on the New York streets. I lived in Milan for 10 years and garbage is collected from inner courtyards, street sweepers sweep the litter from the sidewalk into the on coming street cleaner and overall litter removal and street sweeping is more efficient. The difference with New York is night and day. Quite honestly I believe the difference is that people who do that kind of work elsewhere as opposed to the people that do it here actually give a damn.

As for Bombay, well I've been there...it is filthy but I took for granted that the comparisons made between New York and other cities did not include those of the third world.

If we can only compare Bombay as being dirtier than New York we are in serious trouble although I must say that we're not far off.

Alonzo-ny
October 3rd, 2007, 11:43 PM
If we can only compare Bombay as being dirtier than New York we are in serious trouble although I must say that we're not far off.

Another exaggeration

Schadenfrau
October 4th, 2007, 12:54 AM
Seriously, how disgusting is your neighborhood, JeffreyNY? The longer you go on, the less I have any idea where you could even be complaining about.

Jeffreyny
October 4th, 2007, 02:40 PM
Seriously, how disgusting is your neighborhood, JeffreyNY? The longer you go on, the less I have any idea where you could even be complaining about.


I'm not talking about midtown but I am talking about the East and West Village, Chelsea sections of Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens. Have you walked down Steinway Street lately?

I won't even get into the filth of the subway system and stench.

If you've travelled you simply cannot dispute that New York is one of the dirtiest cities on the planet. While Beijing has horrendous air pollution it's streets are undisputedly cleaner...even in the hutoungs!

The below is an article which discusses the reputation, solutions and some polls of New York filth.
http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/issueoftheweek/20040813/200/1086

Trying to Clean Up New York
by Gail Robinson
August 16, 2004


Albert Ridley, a worker in the Doe Fund's Ready, Willing and Able street cleaning program, at 2nd Avenue and 86th Street.



Five days a week, Albert Ridley and Jesus Negron appear on the Upper East Side at 7 a.m. to sweep streets, empty litter baskets and scrape illegal leaflets off lampposts. It isn't easy: The two men must cope with illegally parked cars that block their brooms, bags of dog poop that have not been sealed, and news vendors who dump piles of heavy newspapers into litter baskets instead of bundling them. But, they say, their work is appreciated. "People stop you and thank you for keeping the area clean," Ridley says.

Ridley and Negron, who both served time in jail, participate in the Doe Fund's Ready, Willing and Able for homeless people and former convicts. It is part of the patchwork of government and private programs that try to keep New York clean.

Despite such efforts, New York does not seem to have shaken its long-time reputation for being filthy: In a poll in 2002, almost half the visitors to New York (and more than half of New Yorkers themselves) said that the city's streets were dirty.

This is not the way it has to be in a big city.

"The biggest difference between New York and Paris is the fact that Paris is clean," David Garrard Lowe wrote in City Journal in 1996. Every morning, Parisian merchants hose sidewalks, and city machines spray streets and remove litter from under parked cars.

"The fact that Paris is clean gives Parisians a sense that things are not falling apart," said Lowe, "that society is not doomed, that there is order in the universe and municipal government."

New York City has struggled over the past decades to overcome its reputation. Now, says the Bloomberg administration, it has largely succeeded. A recent city survey (in pdf format) found 89 percent of city streets "acceptably clean" -- a higher percentage than at any time since the city began keeping records 30 years ago.

But the cleanliness of the city remains a heated political issue, as a recent furor over debris on city beaches makes clear. Critics doubt whether the city really is as clean as the administration claims.

And they question whether the city can claim responsibility for any improvement there has been. Private groups, such as neighborhood and civic organizations, play an increasing role in sanitation, picking up trash, bagging garbage, and cleaning up graffiti (see related stories on Kew Gardens Hills and Riverdale.) Does the city rely too much on such groups? Or should it turn even more over to private agencies?

CLEAN STREETS, HEALTHY STREETS
On one fact everybody can agree: The city is certainly cleaner than it was for much of its history. That is not difficult. For centuries the filth of New York streets was legendary, over-the-top, deadly. Efforts to clean it up had little effect, starting with the law banning the disposal of animal carcasses and other garbage in city streets in 1657. In the 19th century, residents dumped their garbage directly onto the street, attracting foraging dogs and pigs. By the end of the century, some 2.5 million pounds of manure fell in city streets every day, according to one estimate.

"Before 1895 the streets were almost universally in a filthy state," wrote George Waring, the man credited with improving the situation. "Rubbish of all kinds, garbage, and ashes lay neglected in the streets, and in the hot weather the city stank with the emanations of putrefying organic matter. It was not always possible to see the pavement, because of the dirt that covered it."

The city established the Department of Sanitation in 1881, but it remained mired in corruption. The situation came to a head when the blizzard of 1888 dumped 21 inches of snow on the city. Snow removal was haphazard at best, and once the snow melted, the city still had to take care of the garbage, including several hundred animal carcasses.

Several years later, Waring was named commissioner of the Department of Street Cleaning. He organized the department as though it was an army, cracked down on patronage and gave street sweepers white uniforms, leading to the nickname "whitewings." Two years later Waring would boast: "New York is now thoroughly clean in every part. . . ." "Clean streets means much more than the casual observer is apt to think. It has justly been said that 'cleanliness is catching,'and clean streets are leading to clean hallways and stair cases and cleaner living-rooms."

But as New Yorkers know, the city had not won the battle. Since the mayor's office began issuing ratings on street cleanliness in 1975, the results have fluctuated widely. In 1980, only 53 percent of the streets were considered "acceptably clean." Ratings improved steadily until they reached the low 70s in 1986 and remained there until the late 1990s.

But that was not clean enough. Garbage-strewn vacant lots and filthy streets blighted many neighborhoods. "New York is surely the filthiest of any major American city, the only one that does not have a single faultlessly kept area under city control," Julia Vitullo Martin wrote in City Journal in 1993.

But by the end of the decade, things had improved. Many areas seemed cleaner, and the rating rose to above 80 percent, where it remains today.

HOW CLEAN IS CLEAN?
To reach its findings on street cleanliness, the mayor's office of operations rates selected streets and sidewalks on a scale (in pdf format) from 1.0 (no litter) to 3.0 (litter is highly concentrated). But the method is not totally scientific, giving the mayor's political opponents the opportunity to question the findings.

The results of the most recent report card "seem like Alice in Wonderland," Councilmember Christine Quinn, whose district includes Greenwich Village and Chelsea, told the New York Post. "The number one complaint I hear -- I'm not exaggerating it -- at every block association meeting is dirty streets and litter."

This summer's biggest clash over cleanliness came not over streets but beaches, the responsibility of the parks department. In early August, the City Council issued a report stating, "New York City beachgoers who expect sun, surf and sand might also find condoms, hypodermic needles, food wrappers and other garbage littering both shore and sea." To bolster the claims about dirty beaches, the report featured photos including one of what appeared to be a dead rat, covered in sand, on Staten Island's South Beach.

Similarly parks advocates often point to dirty parks -- from simple litter to larger amounts of garbage dumped in remote areas.

Disputes arise as well over how to clean the city. The mayor and some council members have disagreed over sanitation tickets -- fines issued to businesses and homeowners that do not keep their property clean. Many who receive the tickets say they are penalized for violations that are not their fault -- Big Mac packaging on their front lawn dropped by customers from a nearby McDonald's, say. Earlier this year, City Council unanimously passed a bill that would allow the city to issue fines only during two specified hours, so homeowners would not face fines for litter dumped on their property while they were at work. Bloomberg vetoed the bill, but the council overrode the veto.

To combat the dumping in vacant lots of garbage, furniture, appliances -- even cars -- the city has increased the fines, and offered rewards for turning in people who are repeat offenders.

WHO CLEANS UP?
The primary responsibility for keeping New York clean lies with the Department of Sanitation, which has a budget of about $1.5 billion. The parks department cleans city parks and beaches, with the help of private parks groups and hundreds of volunteers.

But in many neighborhoods, residents complain that these efforts fall short (see related story on the Lower East Side). And so, a number of City Council members use their discretionary funds to fund clean-up efforts.

Last year, James Gennaro spent $35,000 for trash baskets in his district. Several council members, including Gennaro, have hired Ready, Willing and Able to clean the street. The program hires homeless people and former convicts for the job, paying them $5.50 or $6.50 an hour (tax free).

"It's a two-sided page," explained Craig Trotta, director of work and training for the fund. The neighborhood, he said, gets cleaner streets, while the workers get jobs that can help set them on a path to a a job and a place to live.

And then there are individuals who wage a war against litter. In the Ditmas Park area of Brooklyn, a long-time resident picks up garbage in her community. "I do it because I love the neighborhood," she said, adding that the area's small size makes it possible for her to have a real effect. "It's not a Herculean task," she said.

A combination of efforts go toward keeping a neighborhood clean, said Fred Arcaro of Community Board 6 on the East Side of Manhattan, an area whose streets have been rated the city's cleanest. The neighborhood hires the Doe Fund to help. Community associations keep pressure on businesses to clean up. "You have a civic culture here to keep the sidewalks clean," Acaro said.

A public-private mix also removes graffiti. While the city has an Anti-Graffiti Task Force that has removed more than 16.3 million square feet of graffiti since July 2002, community groups such as the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol fight the paint scrawls in their own communities.

The Adopt a Highway Program took on the daunting task of keeping highways clean in the 1990s. Run by the city Department of Transportation, businesses, organizations or individuals commit to keep a stretch of highway clean -- either by caring for it themselves or hiring a maintenance firm to do it.

Business Improvement Districts also take up some of the burden. Businesses in a specified area pay an additional tax, the revenues from which go to improving the area -- which often means street cleaning, as well as better lights and holiday decorations.

Heather McDonald of the Manhattan Institute has hailed the Business Improvement Districts as "one of the most important developments in local governance in the last two decades." In 1996, she credited them with "considerable responsibility for turning around once squalid neighborhoods -- from Times Square to East Williamsburg, Brooklyn -- and making them safe and attractive for shoppers and pedestrians."

And some call for a greater private role in sanitation. The city instituted private garbage collection for businesses in the mid 1950s. In the 1990s, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani considered having private companies compete with the city to collect residential garbage. The plan lost steam when sanitation workers agreed to productivity measures. But the idea still appeals to some people, particularly political conservatives.

But some critics say government, not businesses or volunteers, should clean the city. Councilmember Eric Gioa, who hired the Doe Fund for parts of Woodside,Queens, told Newsday, "It's unfortunate we have to rely on a private organization to clean up our streets because cleaner streets should be a top priority of government."

The New York City Audubon Society has reservations as well. "There is a very unsettling trend in this city where city and federal government agencies have decided to abandon their responsibility to keep their facilities free of litter and dumping," the group's newsletter said.

NEW POLICIES
One way to have less garbage to pick up is to produce less of it in the first place. As evidence, advocates point to the bottle bill, which set a mandatory deposit on beer and soda containers. According to one estimate, the measure has reduced litter in the state by 70 percent. A bill introduced in the state legislature seeks to expand the law to include containers for bottled water, iced tea, juice and sports drinks -- beverages that barely existed when the law was first passed in 1982.

The New York WasteLess Campaign offers tips to help individuals, businesses and government cut down on garbage that can turn up as street litter. These include simple steps such as buying products with less packaging and bringing lunch in reusable containers.

Streets and lots are dirty largely because people make them that way. For some, littering reflects self-interest. People and businesses improperly dump garbage in a public place because they don't want to pay to dispose of it properly.

But for some litterers, it is not that simple. Psychologists have researched why some people remain impervious to entreaties, dirty looks and common sense and continue to drop scraps on the sidewalk and dump everything from coffee cups to old sofas in vacant lots.

A 1980 study concluded that people are more likely to litter on dirty streets than clean ones. People also tend to litter when they feel no sense of identity with an area (see related story on East New York). And, concluded Thomas Herblein, a sociology professor, "litterers are people who are less likely to feel personally responsible for their action. And they are less likely to be aware of negative personal consequences that litter hurts others."

Some officials have set out to change those attitudes. Last year, Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5 in Queens (which includes Middle Village and Glendale), launched a campaign to highlight the role of the public in improving the cities. "So often," he wrote in a mailing, "the problems that our city has to solve are mainly due to people behaving badly."

Similarly, James Vacca, district manager of Community Board 10 in the eastern Bronx, wants to affect his neighbors' behavior. "I don't want people to think that because we are the Bronx, we are any different from Chappaqua," he told the New York Times. "We are people who have standards."

antinimby
October 4th, 2007, 03:05 PM
I like this city dirty and messy just fine, thank you. With all the whitewashing and sanitization in the past decade or so, it's already becoming almost too bland (almost but not quite yet, thankfully) for me.

Ninjahedge
October 4th, 2007, 03:23 PM
Jeff, in all fairness, you may want to find an article that is a little more recent when you are criticizing something......

2004?

Also, the article really does not go into how filty NY is. It talks more of possible solutions to the messiness of NYC than the actual degree of squalor that it contains.

That being said, I would not rate NYC as one of the worst worldwide, but for a city that is supposed to be one of the capitals of the world, it is definitely not the best for cleanliness.

ZippyTheChimp
October 4th, 2007, 03:25 PM
While Beijing has horrendous air pollution it's streets are undisputedly cleaner...even in the hutoungs!Odd choice for a comparison.

Ninjahedge
October 4th, 2007, 03:34 PM
I like this city dirty and messy just fine, thank you. With all the whitewashing and sanitization in the past decade or so, it's already becoming almost too bland (almost but not quite yet, thankfully) for me.

In all fairness AN, I think it would be much nicer if you did not have to keep looking at your feet to make sure you to not step in anything or turn your ankle on an odd outcropping.

Having to scrape the slime off my shoes from an ill-contained restaurants litter depository spot along a narrow sidewalk is not my ideal city situation.

The main problem is, I think, not necessarily in the cleaning of the city itself, but the attitude of the people. As one line in that old article says, people seem to think it is not their responsibility to keep the city clean. Someone else gets paid to do it so why should they?

If we can get rid of this "not my problem" attitude, at least to the stage where people will not pile trash up where there is no room (CARRY it an extra block. It won't kill ya!) or not at all (no matter how convenient) I think we can get rid of a lot of the clutter.

But we also need ways to make it easier for people to keep the area clean w/o having to jump through hoops. Ashtrays/cigarette disposals would be a start (get rid of the butts). Combine that with an increased enforcement of littering charges (especially for things liek gum, etc) and we may get a bit of cleanliness WITHOUT having to make the lpace look like Disneyland.

A bit of dirt on the soles of your shoes tells people that you have been out and about, but that does not mean that wearing a pair of crap-shoes to work gives you some sort of air of authenticity.

antinimby
October 4th, 2007, 04:03 PM
Having to scrape the slime off my shoes from an ill-contained restaurants litter depository spot along a narrow sidewalk is not my ideal city situation.No one is holding a gun to your head to walk down those streets. There are in fact, plenty of streets that aren't like that than those that are.

This city has been like that (dirty, gritty, messy) for a long time and I don't see a pressing need to all of sudden to have to be squeaky clean.

There are plenty of other cities that are clean. I just don't think NY should try to be like everyone else.

Even with all its dirtiness and unkemptness, the city is still the most popular city in the country while all the other neat and clean cities are not so special. I guess all the garbage is not a turn off after all.

In fact, I see it more as a special trait and almost like a badge of honor to be different and anti-typical.:D

Ninjahedge
October 4th, 2007, 05:05 PM
No one is holding a gun to your head to walk down those streets. There are in fact, plenty of streets that aren't like that than those that are.

That's great. I will go 4 blocks out of my way to get into work in the morning.

Why didn't I think of that!


This city has been like that (dirty, gritty, messy) for a long time and I don't see a pressing need to all of sudden to have to be squeaky clean.

That's you man. I don't like horse crap on the roadways, cigarette butts in the cracks of the sidewalk, and slime on random curbs. If you like it, that is fine, but I don't think not minding it takes prevalance to those of us that find it rather gross.


There are plenty of other cities that are clean. I just don't think NY should try to be like everyone else.

OK, that is just lame.


Even with all its dirtiness and unkemptness, the city is still the most popular city in the country while all the other neat and clean cities are not so special. I guess all the garbage is not a turn off after all.

You are avoiding the issue entirely. The garbage IS a turn off. Most people do not like it. Why do they come to the city? Because there are other things that rate higher in their book than other cities that makes it so that they tolerate the mess.

Saying that they come here is a sign that they like the mess is not a valid assertion.


In fact, I see it more as a special trait and almost like a badge of honor to be different and anti-typical.:D

Oh come on man! I don't know if you are being sarcastic or not.

Like I said, there is a difference between a little bit of grit/wear and filth. i am not a fan of fake "weathering". I do not like the Disney effect and I am not looking for a perfect place. But looking up in the sky to see something floating in the sky, reminding me of leaves being blown in the wind, only to realize that it is a plastic shopping bag is a supreme dissapointment.

Clean does not mean commercially anteseptic. It does not mean getting rid of the hole-in-the-walls or some of the thnigs that bring character to the streets.

But armpit aroma, no matter how authentic, does not bring "character" to a person. Neither does filth/rubbish in a city.

Jeffreyny
October 4th, 2007, 05:35 PM
Jeff, in all fairness, you may want to find an article that is a little more recent when you are criticizing something......

2004?

Also, the article really does not go into how filty NY is. It talks more of possible solutions to the messiness of NYC than the actual degree of squalor that it contains.

That being said, I would not rate NYC as one of the worst worldwide, but for a city that is supposed to be one of the capitals of the world, it is definitely not the best for cleanliness.


The article is one that I've book marked so I shared it in this forum. While it doesn't mirror everything I said it brings up some good points, comparisons and is informative. I also don't think the situation has changed at all since 2004 so the date it was written holds no weight for me.

Also I just have one question...can you name another city, not in the 3rd world that is dirtier than New York?

Jeffreyny
October 4th, 2007, 05:36 PM
In fact, I see it more as a special trait and almost like a badge of honor to be different and anti-typical.:D

Are you being serious?

antinimby
October 4th, 2007, 05:52 PM
@Ninjahedge

Well if you are so bothered by the muck on the streets around your workplace, I would really re-evaluate my job and even whether I would want to remain in a city that I find so bothersome, if I were you.

Like everything in life, just because something bothers you doesn't mean the world has to be reconfigured just to fit your needs and preferences, especially a world that has been pretty much that way for many years.

It would be far easier to just leave and find some place that suits your needs better. Again, you are the one that is making this sound like it is something impossible to endure, not me.

If all the garbage and filth is such a turn off as you say, then there are plenty of places for you and others like you to go. No one is forcing you to remain in this city.

There's really no longer anything that is available in NY that isn't available anywhere else. If you look on a map, this city is really a very small speck compared to the rest of the country and world. There are many upon many places to go if one is not happy where they are.

As for the armpit analogy, that is not even close to being the same thing and you know it. Any place that serves food are going to have some kind of smell that some people may find offensive while others aren't bothered by it. You can go to the squeakiest clean suburb and if you stand behind a restaurant there, then you're going to encounter the same thing.

To expect this idealic, pleasant-smelling, filled with roses world is just not realistic, no matter where you are, much less a large, bustling city. Even in the supposedly "ultra-clean" Tokyo, I'm sure there are spots that are aroma-filled and unpleasant.

With that said, this city has come a long way in fixing many of the things that were once neglected and broken. From potholes and dilapidated infrastructure to street signs and sidewalks.

It is already very livable and light years from what it was even ten years ago so if people were able to "survive" back then, I can't believe people should have any trouble today.

I'm going to leave this debate at that and just assume we both disagree on this matter. I know your position and you know mine.

antinimby
October 4th, 2007, 05:56 PM
Are you being serious?Yes, but you wouldn't understand. You like things squeaky clean and dull.

Alonzo-ny
October 4th, 2007, 07:40 PM
In all fairness AN, I think it would be much nicer if you did not have to keep looking at your feet to make sure you to not step in anything or turn your ankle on an odd outcropping.

Having to scrape the slime off my shoes from an ill-contained restaurants litter depository spot along a narrow sidewalk is not my ideal city situation.

.
Never had to do any of these things, either you live in a horrible part of town or you like your shoes way too much.

Schadenfrau
October 4th, 2007, 08:19 PM
Also I just have one question...can you name another city, not in the 3rd world that is dirtier than New York?

Philadelphia, easily.

Jeffreyny
October 4th, 2007, 11:00 PM
Yes, but you wouldn't understand. You like things squeaky clean and dull.

I wouldn't say I like things dull but I do like things clean. There is a difference. I must be odd....?!
Sounds like you on the other hand might find yourself more at home at a garbage dump.

Jeffreyny
October 4th, 2007, 11:01 PM
Philadelphia, easily.

not familiar with the slums of Philadelphia but I've never found center city to be dirty.

ZippyTheChimp
October 4th, 2007, 11:15 PM
I'm not talking about midtown


not familiar with the slums of Philadelphia but I've never found center city to be dirty.Inconsistent.

krulltime
October 5th, 2007, 01:48 AM
I don't find New York City to be too dirtier. I am actually surprice how clean it looks. Even when I do my photo walking tours in the boroughs. The nice neighborhoods as clean as they can be. But I had imagine that the working and especially the poorer neighborhoods would probably be very dirtier, especially the poor areas in the Bronx. But I was in surprice of how clean things look.

Nope NYC is not too dirtier.

cysthead30
October 5th, 2007, 10:02 AM
For a city of its size, NYC is pretty clean, however, there are cleaner cities in this country but they pale in comparison to NYC!! Now if you mean 'dirty' like dirty slut....then thats what I am. I'm real dirty. :p

Ninjahedge
October 5th, 2007, 10:05 AM
@Ninjahedge

Well if you are so bothered by the muck on the streets around your workplace, I would really re-evaluate my job and even whether I would want to remain in a city that I find so bothersome, if I were you.

You are missing the point.

Again.

I do not find it bothersome enough to leave.

Why is that so hard to understand man? You can go to a movie, like it, but still see areas that would have made it better. How is NYC any different? Are you saying that you would not like to see cleaner streets? A faster subway system? Less crime? Cheaper prices?

I think ALL of us would like to see these things, but they are not enough to drive us away from the city. But you keep saying "Either it is enough to make you want to leave, or stop talking about it!".

The same can be said for the United states. Devils Advocate here, but if you do not like the way Bush and Co. is running the country, why don't YOU just leave? ;)

Get the point?


Like everything in life, just because something bothers you doesn't mean the world has to be reconfigured just to fit your needs and preferences, especially a world that has been pretty much that way for many years.

Straw man. Exaggeration of a point. MOST people do not like litter, so saying that it does not have to change to fit "my" needs, even if "I" am more than one person, is a futile position to present.

Saying that NYC has been dirty for many years is not a fair assessment either. When it was "dirtier" in the 70's and 80's, MANY people moved away, leaving all that "character" behind. Now many have moved back.

Why?

Because many of the good things are still here, but the dirt, grime and crime have been reduced.


It would be far easier to just leave and find some place that suits your needs better. Again, you are the one that is making this sound like it is something impossible to endure, not me.

You are! Jesus man! Where did I say it was impossible? What I am saying is that it is POSSIBLE TO CHANGE! That that change would be a positive thing, and would not require much effort.

Geez man! Stop taking my position to the extreme!


If all the garbage and filth is such a turn off as you say, then there are plenty of places for you and others like you to go. No one is forcing you to remain in this city.

That is the twentieth time that you have said this. If people complaining about the filth bothers you, you do not have to read, or respond to it. If you LIKE living in filth, you are welcome to do so, just not in my neighborhood, wherever that may be.

Just stop with the "love it or leave it" attitude. You are beginning to sound like a mid-western war supporter.


As for the armpit analogy, that is not even close to being the same thing and you know it.

Yes it is, or I would not have made it. I work with people that have had PROFOUND body odor, but the fact that they had other things that I either needed, or liked about them made them people I would still go to see, despite my dislike of it.


Any place that serves food are going to have some kind of smell that some people may find offensive while others aren't bothered by it.

Which has nothing to do with my analogy. I am not talking preferences to food here. Some people do not MIND armpit aroma as much as others, but I have yet to find a single person that LIKES it.


You can go to the squeakiest clean suburb and if you stand behind a restaurant there, then you're going to encounter the same thing.

What the hell are you talking about? Why would I want to stand near the dumpsters of a restaurant? Why would I want those dumpsters out front, on the main road, stinking up my daily commute?

Who DELIBERATELY goes to these dumpsters to get that smell? People avoid them because they do not like it, so somehow saying you do not like the same smell on the street is unfair?

Also, trying a loose comparison between food smell, then being behind a "squeaky clean" restaurant does not hold. Unless you were talking about food-cooking smell, which does not fit the original comparison or topic.


To expect this idyllic, pleasant-smelling, filled with roses world is just not realistic, no matter where you are, much less a large, bustling city. Even in the supposedly "ultra-clean" Tokyo, I'm sure there are spots that are aroma-filled and unpleasant.

Again, straw man. Going extreme with your example, then refuting the extreme exaggeration. I never said that ALL of Tokyo was clean. But MOST of the subways I saw, and the main roads, and the back alleys, and the parks, and even the drainage canals (We did a LOT of walking) were MUCH cleaner than NYC.

Their architecture and street layout, for the most part, sucked rocks, but everything was surprisingly clean for such a crowded municipality.

I never said the world had to smell like roses, but it also does not have to smell like Linden on the Turnpike.


With that said, this city has come a long way in fixing many of the things that were once neglected and broken. From potholes and dilapidated infrastructure to street signs and sidewalks.

Agreed.


It is already very livable and light years from what it was even ten years ago so if people were able to "survive" back then, I can't believe people should have any trouble today.

Slight difference there AN. It got better because people did not LIKE it the old way. They MADE it better, and people are still trying to do that now.

I am not calling for an antiseptic neighborhood, but a more efficient system of waste removal would be a good start.

Ninjahedge
October 5th, 2007, 10:09 AM
Never had to do any of these things, either you live in a horrible part of town or you like your shoes way too much.

Midtown, between 40th and 45th, full cross-town walk from Port Authority all the way over.

There are a few restaurants that are along the way that are less successful on some days in their packaging of rubbish on the narrow sidewalk (one being that BBQ place West of the new BoA tower on the north side).

I have had to dance around their stuff quite a few times. They just do not clean their alks as well as places like the Algonquin or others along the same stretch only a block or two away.

Ninjahedge
October 5th, 2007, 10:09 AM
Philadelphia, easily.

Sadly, I have heard the same thing.... :(

undertoes
October 5th, 2007, 11:25 AM
NYC is dirty and it stinks

/thread

antinimby
October 5th, 2007, 12:54 PM
Ninjahedge, you just come across as someone who is prissy and spoiled. This is a large city and like every city large or small, there will be places that are not clean.

Like I said before, not everything has to be changed to your liking. That part of Midtown has tons of people walking around there, apparently not everyone is bothered by it or else that stuff wouldn't be allowed.

We're living in a community-oriented NY nowadays, where everyone has a say in what things are allowed or not allowed. If this was such a big problem for that many people then you know it wouldn't even exist. Apparently, this is not a major issue for the VAST majority of people.

I would even say this is almost silly for you to be so consumed by this. Yes the ground is dirty and some grounds are dirtier than others but no one is asking you to eat off of it. If I were you, I would be more concerned about my favorite restaurant or my building than some street you are just passing by.

You say I'm misinterpreting your comments but you're the one carrying on, on how disgustingly dirty the streets are and how this or that needs to be changed and overhauled.

Don't blame me if you're not expressing yourself clearly enough.

Ninjahedge
October 5th, 2007, 02:09 PM
Ninjahedge, you just come across as someone who is prissy and spoiled. This is a large city and like every city large or small, there will be places that are not clean.

Must be my accent... ;)


Like I said before, not everything has to be changed to your liking. That part of Midtown has tons of people walking around there, apparently not everyone is bothered by it or else that stuff wouldn't be allowed.

You are taking it to the extreme, associating any dislike with avoidance. Some are bothered by it more than others. But testament to the fact that it is not enough to drive them away completely should be the fact that I still come here.

Yes I hate filth, but I love what NYC has to offer. The movie analogy fits.


We're living in a community-oriented NY nowadays, where everyone has a say in what things are allowed or not allowed. If this was such a big problem for that many people then you know it wouldn't even exist. Apparently, this is not a major issue for the VAST majority of people.

I don't know about that AN. Thing is, it os one of those things that has a few bane's attached to it.

First, some people feel that the first response to anything they would say about it would be met with your response (don't like it, go somewhere else) and that THEY would be asked to do something about it (like that one woman that helps clean a piece of the small park near her home).

Second, people have the feeling that it is not something they can do a heck of a lot about. So they do not comment on it and try to ignore it.

Ignoring smoething does not mean you like it. AAMOF, it usually means that you don't, but you are trying to get your body/mind to not pay attension to it so you can focus on other things.

I have a bit of a problem with trying to ignore things. I notice too much. It helps in certain situations, but in others, like mess on the street, it can be quite infuriating.

That is probably one reason why it bothers me more than you. But I am not alone in this. I believe it bothes a LOT of people, but many do not feel like even getting into a discussion about somethnig they can do little about. Why waste time at work talking about garbage in NY?

Why waste time trying to convince Ninjahedge of anything he is adamant against! ;)

But the whole thing boils down to this. I am not looking for Disney. I do not like what they have turned TS into. Looks like an outdoor mall. A dirty one, but a mall.

I am not saying that the strip clubs and bars were vital to the thing that was Times Square, but that changing it into NASDAQ, CBS, Wrigleys, Virgin, Hard Rock, Starbucks leaves a little bit out of what it once was.

I am not looking to rob the city of its "character", but a newspaper strewn on the sidewalk blowing with the wind does not make me feel all mushy with a feling of NYC. Neither do coffee cups, wrappers, metro cards, cigarette butts or any of the other common refuse items.

What gives NYC the character that I am looking for are the people, the places, and the things, not what coats them.


I would even say this is almost silly for you to be so consumed by this. Yes the ground is dirty and some grounds are dirtier than others but no one is asking you to eat off of it. If I were you, I would be more concerned about my favorite restaurant or my building than some street you are just passing by.

I am thankful that noone has forced me to eat off of it. That would be just plain silly, as is the analogy! ;)

As for being more concerned about X or Y, look around the posts man! You think I am not concerned? You think I like some of the condo-ization of some neighborhoods? (Goodbye Collins Bar!). I get concerned about a lot of things.

The only reason that I keep going on on here is because I do not think we are arguing quite the same point. You say "Dirt is character" and I say "filth is filth". We are both right, but our definitions of these terms seem to be a bit different.

To go back to the shoe analogies, a scuff on your boot is character, dog poo on the sole is a PITA. ;)


You say I'm misinterpreting your comments but you're the one carrying on, on how disgustingly dirty the streets are and how this or that needs to be changed and overhauled.

The system is not working the way it is. It needs to be changed to be made more efficient. They need to be able to make the busy areas resemble more of the residential areas that people care about their space.

You go to the West Village, historic district, and things are a HELL of a lot neater. Hell, from Christopher to Houston is almost like a different town! DOes it lose character because it does not have slime on the curb or cigarette butts all over the sidewalks? No.

And as for your first statement, stating that my assertation that you are misinterpreting my comments has no bearing on me being "the one carrying on". If I did not assert that, and you still had differences in points of view, it is entirely possible that I would still be "carrying on". One does not refute the other.

You claim that the city gains character because of the grime, but yet it still has a copngestion problem.

One has very little, if anything, to do with the other! ;)


Don't blame me if you're not expressing yourself clearly enough.

Don't start climbing up on to the cross there Mr. Martyr. It is hard to nail your other arm to it all by yourself! ;)

I am not "blaming" you for anything. I am saying that you are on a different wavelength than I am and I am trying to, at least, match frequencies even if we are broadcasting different things.


Back to OT... NYC is dirty and it should get cleaner.

'nuff said. :D

antinimby
October 5th, 2007, 02:27 PM
I can see you'll never get it but just realize this: don't expect the city to try to change just to appease everyone that's got a little germ/dirt-phobia.

What next? Someone who doesn't like crowds but decides to live/work in Midtown and expects the city to be thinned out just so they can be happy? Please.

NYatKNIGHT
October 5th, 2007, 03:14 PM
Nobody has to leave if they have a complaint about the city.


I find New York, Philadelphia, and the other older industrial cities are dirtier than most newer cities of relative size, and that it's a cultural connection. In those places people aren't bothered by it because they're used to it, they don't even see it, and it's the least of their worries.

People in some cities will run after a gum wrapper if it blows away, here we don't. Chinatown isn't as clean as other neighborhoods because they aren't as bothered by it. I also noticed more litter statewide across New Mexico than I did in Colorado. It's cultural, and with such diversity here there's bound to be differences in how we all handle garbage.

Live away from this city for a while then come back and one of the biggest things you notice is the litter and filth. If you don't see it or aren't bothered by it, fine, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. It is. Some areas are better than others, there are even a few well kept areas, but the city as a whole could do better. Nothing wrong with throwing out the excess garbage, is there? Nobody is trying to turn the city upside down, and I also find the defensiveness interesting. Luckily everything else makes up for the mess.

Ninjahedge
October 5th, 2007, 03:37 PM
I can see you'll never get it but just realize this: don't expect the city to try to change just to appease everyone that's got a little germ/dirt-phobia.

It is not a phobia. You keep taking it to an extreme.

Since when is liking something cleaner a deleterious personal trait?


What next? Someone who doesn't like crowds but decides to live/work in Midtown and expects the city to be thinned out just so they can be happy? Please.

What's next? someone who does not like day asking for the sun to be turned off?

Enough with the stupid associations AN. :p

antinimby
October 5th, 2007, 04:01 PM
Forget it Ninjahedge, it's getting pointless.

NYatKnight, for clarification, I never said anyone has to leave.

All I said was that if someone is bothered by something that much, one can always leave. Big difference.

Ninjahedge
October 5th, 2007, 05:35 PM
Forget it Ninjahedge, it's getting pointless.

NYatKnight, for clarification, I never said anyone has to leave.

All I said was that if someone is bothered by something that much, one can always leave. Big difference.

No, you kept saying "if you do not like it, leave".

"If it bothers you that much, leave"

"leave leave leave" was your only solution. You seem to like the mess.

Tell me, do you clean up after yourself when you are in the city?

And I knew it was pointless from the time you said that mess did not matter and you thought it added character. How can you argue with something that is not based on anything that has been presented. You never said you LIKED the smell of garbage, but yet you said without the mess, NY would lose its character.

You are lumping too many things into one argument. You dodge my points about slime telling me I do not have to step in it. You compare smell to the back of a restaurant but do not address the dumpster analogy I bring up. You are afraid that somehow you will not only lose a bit of NYC that you legitimately like, but that somehow YOU will be forced to do something that you do not want to.

Otherwise, why does it matter?

infoshare
October 5th, 2007, 07:35 PM
All I said was that if someone is bothered by something that much, one can always leave. Big difference.

Well you need not leave either, you could live in BPC: the streets are always clean & tidy there. One would still be living in nyc and have clean streets too - you just cann't leave the nab. :p

Recently I saw a clever website for a condo in BPC and the theme was "change you point-of-view". The website flash page opens with images of piles of trash on the street in what is clearly a non-battery park city location: the splash page then changes to images of pristine BPC. The caption then reads: whats the view from your window.

It is a very clever promo, mostly because it's true, if I can find the link to it I will post a link here (http://www.225rector.com/). Note the 'Views" of trash piles shown in the photos on the opening page of the website.

antinimby
October 7th, 2007, 01:43 PM
^ So I shouldn't leave, huh? LOL! :D

According to Ninjahedge, I thought it was me who was telling him to, "leave, leave, leave!"

@Ninjahedge
I think our little discussion has run its course, especially when it's come to the point where we're saying who had said what eventhough it's only one page back.

You interpret what I said the way you want to man. Now have your last word.

infoshare
October 7th, 2007, 10:01 PM
^ So I shouldn't leave, huh? LOL! :D

According to Ninjahedge, I thought it was me who was telling him to, "leave, leave, leave!"


Sorry, that was a somewhat foggy statement about who shouldn't leave: I intended to say neither of you need to leave. :o

Anyway, check out the funny website for the new condo located in - squeeky clean - battery park city.

antinimby
October 8th, 2007, 02:10 PM
Yes, I saw that flash video and no, I still don't want to go live in BPC. ;)

Jeffreyny
October 8th, 2007, 02:13 PM
Inconsistent.

How you come up with those 2 statements being inconsistent is beyond me.

Jeffreyny
October 8th, 2007, 02:23 PM
I don't find New York City to be too dirtier. I am actually surprice how clean it looks. Even when I do my photo walking tours in the boroughs. The nice neighborhoods as clean as they can be. But I had imagine that the working and especially the poorer neighborhoods would probably be very dirtier, especially the poor areas in the Bronx. But I was in surprice of how clean things look.

Nope NYC is not too dirtier.

It is funny to me how so many people don't seem to find NYC. dirty. Frankly when comparing it to other cities it is dirtier but I suppose New Yorkers are used to it, expect it and in turn that creates a tolerance. I think, as one poster stated, if you live in another city in Europe, Asia, etc..(I won't compare with other US. cities because of density/population inconsitencies with New York), you will undoubtedly find New York dirtier. I love this city and find it's lived in affect facinating but I don't understand why the street litter is so widely accepted in many neighborhoods.

Schadenfrau
October 8th, 2007, 02:56 PM
Jeffrey, other than expressing your displeasure on the internet, what exactly do you do to show your non-acceptance of litter?

Jeffreyny
October 8th, 2007, 03:59 PM
Jeffrey, other than expressing your displeasure on the internet, what exactly do you do to show your non-acceptance of litter?

Interesting you should ask. Aside from occasionally picking up the random plastic bag blowing in the wind, bottle, newspaper or anything else discarded that is reasonably easy to throw away at the next garbage can I have volunteered my service to help clean local parks a hand full of times.
Perhaps you, being so complacent and immuned to what you believe to be a "clean" city could travel to some European cities in order to compare them to here, come back to New York and get involved.
http://www.volunteernyc.org/volunteer/search-2.tcl
Maybe you could do some good in a city know for it's dirty, smelly streets and actually show the foreigners who comment on it's filth that it really isn't that way.
For the USA's number one city in the world's richest country NYC is way too dirty.
For you to negate that is just plain denial.

Schadenfrau
October 8th, 2007, 05:32 PM
Good for you for volunteering, Jeffrey. I've volunteered to clean parks and community gardens in the past, but my recent volunteer efforts tend toward the more personal and less aesthetically-oriented side of things.

I've also been to Europe and other places, thanks. I still think there are more important things in the world (and New York City) than misplaced cigarette butts.

Ninjahedge
October 8th, 2007, 05:46 PM
Misplaced.

Funny.

Schadenfrau
October 8th, 2007, 08:05 PM
Sorry, but if someone dumped Damien Hirst's ashtray in the middle of Central Park, I'd still consider about 1,976 social issues more compelling than litter in New York City.

I guess it's a good thing there are other people interested in complaining on the internet and picking up plastic bags once in a while.

ZippyTheChimp
October 8th, 2007, 10:04 PM
How you come up with those 2 statements being inconsistent is beyond me.I thought it might be.

Jeffreyny
October 8th, 2007, 10:57 PM
I thought it might be.

taken in context their not inconsistent.

Jeffreyny
October 8th, 2007, 10:59 PM
Good for you for volunteering, Jeffrey. I've volunteered to clean parks and community gardens in the past, but my recent volunteer efforts tend toward the more personal and less aesthetically-oriented side of things.

I've also been to Europe and other places, thanks. I still think there are more important things in the world (and New York City) than misplaced cigarette butts.

I'm not saying there are not more important issues but I am saying New York is dirty and I personally would like it better if it were cleaner.

ZippyTheChimp
October 9th, 2007, 01:25 AM
taken in context their not inconsistent.I took them in context. Just didn't want to quote the entire posts.

Ninjahedge
October 9th, 2007, 08:43 AM
Sorry, but if someone dumped Damien Hirst's ashtray in the middle of Central Park, I'd still consider about 1,976 social issues more compelling than litter in New York City.

I guess it's a good thing there are other people interested in complaining on the internet and picking up plastic bags once in a while.

Yep. If there are more important things to worry about, one should ignore all the small things.

You are 100% right.

Jeffreyny
October 9th, 2007, 11:53 AM
I took them in context. Just didn't want to quote the entire posts.

then you clearly don't understand my point.

ZippyTheChimp
October 9th, 2007, 11:58 AM
^
And what point is that?

cysthead30
October 9th, 2007, 01:39 PM
Interesting you should ask. Aside from occasionally picking up the random plastic bag blowing in the wind, bottle, newspaper or anything else discarded that is reasonably easy to throw away at the next garbage can I have volunteered my service to help clean local parks a hand full of times.
Perhaps you, being so complacent and immuned to what you believe to be a "clean" city could travel to some European cities in order to compare them to here, come back to New York and get involved.
http://www.volunteernyc.org/volunteer/search-2.tcl
Maybe you could do some good in a city know for it's dirty, smelly streets and actually show the foreigners who comment on it's filth that it really isn't that way.
For the USA's number one city in the world's richest country NYC is way too dirty.
For you to negate that is just plain denial.

Sweet.....can you come by my place this weekend and clean my house and bathroom too? ;)

Ninjahedge
October 9th, 2007, 01:46 PM
Zip, maybe it would help if you were a bit more specific in your criticism? I agree with you most of the time when you make your points, but you do have the tendency to be kind of cryptic in your brevity sometimes ;)

And Jeff, it doesn't help thnigs to give a quick, and snippy rebuttal. It may not be how you intended it to come out, but it sound like you are on a "YOU wouldn't understand" kind of schpiel here.

Instead of saying "I can't see how you can say they are inconsistant", try asking him why. It may go further, you know you are only laying down the gauntlet with your original response!

And cys, if you ask nicely, I am sure he will show up with a garden hose and a leaf blower just for you!!! ;)

ZippyTheChimp
October 10th, 2007, 09:32 AM
^
That NYC is dirty is obvious to most, but JeffreyNYC seems bent on showing that NYC is unique in the world, a paragon of filth.

So you get statements like:

I realize the population of New York is far greater than any of the European cities but New York is also sectioned off into boroughs and neighborhoods thus making them small cities and easier to clean.Is it necessary to point out the flaw?

And comparisons to Bombay and Beijing, whose citizens I guess are lucky enough to have horrendous air-pollution, but spotless streets. BTW, Beijing's air-pollution and culture have created a unique form of litter.
http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/China/Beijing_Shi/Beijing-1024960/Local_Customs-Beijing-Spitting-BR-1.html

This attempt to put NYC at the top of the garbage heap leads him to dismiss other examples, such as Philadelphia, with:

not familiar with the slums of Philadelphia but I've never found center city to be dirty.For NYC, he wants to discuss various neighborhoods, but for Philadelphia, the garbage is in neighborhoods he has not visited, which of course, must be slums.

Inconsistent.

Jeffreyny
October 10th, 2007, 12:54 PM
-Air pollution is a problem and much worse in many cities than New York but I only discussed street litter.

-Spitting on Beijing's streets, while disgusting, is not litter in context.
You're now comparing litter and spitting. Inconsitent.

-I wouldn't dispute that outside Center City Philadelphia is dirtier than New York since I don't know but if Center City is to Philadelphia what Manhattan is to New York then it is not dirtier so the inconsistency is not there.

Ninjahedge
October 10th, 2007, 02:34 PM
Jeff man, be nice.

I asked and he clarified his statement for you. Try and be a bit more civil and not give just a bulleted hit-list for your reply!!!

Things like your last statement are still a little weird. You did not need to put in the "inconsistancy is not there".

If what you are trying to say is that based on your views of certain areas of Philly as compared to Manhattan, you can say that NY is dirtier, then so be it. But it looked like someone brought up Philly as an example of some place that was dirtier, and you merely said that where you have been does not look that dirty, but that you cannot vouch for the city as a whole.

Zip is not contesting that, but the fact that you seem to be cherry picking things in comparison. Taking what supports your argument in different zones.


And, in all fairness zip, he is talking about litter, not smog/other air pollution. That is something taht is handled in a completely different way and somethingthat has, thankfully, been GREATLY reduced in NYC (and, thanks to a recent settlement with mid-west power, ni other areas as well).

So whatever. It is good to see you guys posting more than the drive-by bi-line! Keep it up! :)

ZippyTheChimp
October 10th, 2007, 05:42 PM
-I wouldn't dispute that outside Center City Philadelphia is dirtier than New York since I don't know but if Center City is to Philadelphia what Manhattan is to New York then it is not dirtier so the inconsistency is not there.I haven't argued that NYC is not dirty, or whether NYC is more (or less) dirty than Philadelphia (or any city). Just pointing out the hyperbole in your posts.

If you wish to quantitatively compare the two cities, you're going to have to factor in the comparative densities (your words).

NYC has 2.5x the density of Philadelphia, and Manhattan an incredible 6.5x. That's resident density, which does not include commuters into Manhattan. Or visitors, which total the entire population of Philadelphia every two weeks. That many people generate a lot of garbage.

Let us know what you come up with.

Or just try this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPEWzUNQg1I)

Schadenfrau
October 10th, 2007, 08:41 PM
-I wouldn't dispute that outside Center City Philadelphia is dirtier than New York since I don't know but if Center City is to Philadelphia what Manhattan is to New York then it is not dirtier so the inconsistency is not there.

Sorry, but this alone is enough to negate your argument. For anyone not familiar with Philadelphia, here's a map:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_City,_Philadelphia

So I guess we're to assume that you know as much about Manhattan as you know about Philadelphia, which is to say not much? And by your standards, anything that's not Center City, Philly or Manhattan (I'm guessing below 96th Street, maybe even 86th in this case?) is a slum? Maybe you consider anywhere you've not set foot in to be a slum?

Actually, scratch that last thought, because I just re-read Jeffreyny's last quote and can't even make heads or tails of it.

In any case, I'm getting a strong sense that Jeffreyny knows a little bit about a lot of places, thus the insistence that all of us Philistines just need to visit the enlightened shores of Europe or some other "first world countries" in order to understand what sort of filthy animals we really are.

Jeffreyny
October 10th, 2007, 10:14 PM
I haven't argued that NYC is not dirty, or whether NYC is more (or less) dirty than Philadelphia (or any city). Just pointing out the hyperbole in your posts.

If you wish to quantitatively compare the two cities, you're going to have to factor in the comparative densities (your words).

NYC has 2.5x the density of Philadelphia, and Manhattan an incredible 6.5x. That's resident density, which does not include commuters into Manhattan. Or visitors, which total the entire population of Philadelphia every two weeks. That many people generate a lot of garbage.

Let us know what you come up with.

Or just try this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPEWzUNQg1I)

I'm not trying nor do I want to argue this point to death. I had asked which city not in a third world country is dirtier than New York and someone replied Philadelphia, hence the comparison.
I'm not disputing your facts and I haven't factored in density vs. Center City to Manhattan, etc...I simply stated that in my observation Center City Philly is cleaner than Manhattan for whatever the reason may be.
I'm not here to argue but this is an important issue for me for various reasons and the bottom line is that NYC.is one of the dirtiest cities I have seen and it is dirtier than I would like it to be.

Jeffreyny
October 10th, 2007, 10:16 PM
Sorry, but this alone is enough to negate your argument. For anyone not familiar with Philadelphia, here's a map:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_City,_Philadelphia

So I guess we're to assume that you know as much about Manhattan as you know about Philadelphia, which is to say not much? And by your standards, anything that's not Center City, Philly or Manhattan (I'm guessing below 96th Street, maybe even 86th in this case?) is a slum? Maybe you consider anywhere you've not set foot in to be a slum?

Actually, scratch that last thought, because I just re-read Jeffreyny's last quote and can't even make heads or tails of it.

In any case, I'm getting a strong sense that Jeffreyny knows a little bit about a lot of places, thus the insistence that all of us Philistines just need to visit the enlightened shores of Europe or some other "first world countries" in order to understand what sort of filthy animals we really are.

what??

ZippyTheChimp
October 10th, 2007, 11:02 PM
I should've stopped here.

Sorry, Ninja. Back to cryptic.

Less typing.

Jeffreyny
October 10th, 2007, 11:44 PM
I should've stopped here.

Sorry, Ninja. Back to cryptic.

Less typing.

agreed

Ninjahedge
October 11th, 2007, 10:43 AM
I guess it just comes down to this.

Zip, you tried. Thanks for putting more effort into it.

Jeff, I think we all see your point, but you just have to watch it when you make your arguments too broad, you become open to criticism for lack of substance in some of your statements (whether the be intentional statements, or misinterpretations).

Also, realize that Schade just wants you to be wrong. She thought she had you with the "Well, it is so dirty what have YOU done about it" and was struck grudgingly silent when you mentioned your involvement with park cleaning.

But with Philly, she knows you are out of your element, and in such a situation is trying to make it so that the fact that you know little about Philly means you are wrong and you should either like cigarette butts or just move somewhere else (actually, that last part is A.N. I think! ;)).


Bottom line is that NYC is messy. there are comparable places that are messier, and others that are cleaner, for whatever reasons. There are many other factors that go into the appeal, or lack thereof, of the city. Litter, cleanliness, and state of repair (or disrepair) definitely being on the list.

I agree that NYC should be a lot cleaner. That there are some shortcomings in the current city cleaning and litter collection scheme that probably need some tweaking, but at the same time these tweaks might include changes in other areas (such as parking) that have their own concerns to tend to.

This dislike does not warrant someone moving out of the city, and does not drop NYC to the depths of sanitary depravity that would drive the inhabitants out and keep the visitors at arms length, but improvement in this area can easily be argued as desirable by many and a benefit to all, including those that can tolerate it more than others.

/me scrapes off bottom of shoes and leaves thread.

RandySavage
October 13th, 2007, 12:15 PM
Whenever I leave New York the one thing that I miss least about Manhattan is how dirty it can be at places/times. Overflowing garbage bins, mountains of trash bags sitting on the sidewalks for what seems like days, ubiquitous litter, heinous puddles of filthy oil-water, and a stink in the air - these are all things New Yorkers are accustomed to.

And whenever I return to New York after an extended period away the dirtiness of the City reappears to me in a shocking way.

Boston is the only other city I've lived in for as long as I've lived in New York, and Boston is far cleaner. Granted, Boston is a village compared to New York, but I don't think that fact should excuse the NYC government or NYC citizens from allowing the City to be so dirty.

lofter1
October 13th, 2007, 01:03 PM
Down in this neck of the NYC woods they sweep & hose down the sidewalks nearly every morning -- but by 4PM all the garbage cans (never enough) are over-flowing and litter in every form strews the sidewalks -- from cig butts to bottles, cups, wrappers, newspapers, plastic bags -- all of which remain until the next sweep-up the following morning.

It comes down to this: Armies of folks coming in -- and none of them taking their crud out with them when they leave.

Ninjahedge
October 16th, 2007, 08:59 AM
Reminds me of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, in reverse....

They are 'adding' to NY rather than taking away! If only garbage was an asset!

As for the trash bins, that always strikes me as funny. One guy will fill it with his kitchen trashbag and then noone else can hold on, or cross the street to use one of the 3 others on the 4 corners of the intersection.

People would rather play garbage-can Jenga than carry their McD's bag an extra 20 feet. Sad really.


I think that things just need to be coordinated better. Have the night crew to take the heavy stuff, but have a bunch of people in those little carts to take care of the daytime stuff and help with the remains of bag-breakages and the like. This should be an exercise in how much one can help another, not "It's his responsibility" finger pointing.

justfabulouslyme
November 14th, 2007, 01:17 AM
This is a topic that in my opinion seems to be of little interest to New Yorkers and that is the dirty city streets of NY.
After having been away from NY. for 10 years in Europe and seeing just how the streets are kept clean there, I am appauled at the filth, grime and smells encountered on our country's number 1 city streets!
I realize the population of New York is far greater than any of the European cities but New York is also sectioned off into boroughs and neighborhoods thus making them small cities and easier to clean.
Chicago has the advantage of alleyways behind all it's city streets where garbage bags can be collected for pick up. New York must put all the garbage out on the sidewalks infront of the buildings. Can nothing be built to contain the mountains of garbage?
The litter is unbelievable. Garbage cans are often overflowing and street cleaning machines move at such a fast pace that they couldn't get close to the curb to sweep up the garbage if they wanted to. This is also not just a localized problem. You can find this in any borough and any neighborhood. Sure, some are better than others but it's an overall generalization.
I don't mean to sound negative about NY. This is a fantastic city but the embarassment of showing visitors around the city with newspapers blowing down the street and plastic bags caught in branches of trees, not to mention the garbage scattered on the subway tracks, is something that we New Yorkers should care a little bit more about!

Hi there Jeffrey.. where in Europe were you for 10 years?

This past May I was in Nice, France, and I was appalled at the dirt. It's just my opinion, but Europe can be just as dirty, if not dirtier than NYC. I was also in Italy and while some towns were clean, others were not (Venice comes to mind as being strikingly beautiful yet sickeningly dirty as well). Also, keep in mind that if your dog defecates on the sidewalks and you don't pick it up in NYC it's a crime, but in Europe people don't even bat an eyelash at it and it's common to walk on the sidewalks and and see lots of doggie poo.

Besides, don't you think a little litter gives the city its character? :D

Ninjahedge
November 14th, 2007, 09:55 AM
"Character"?

Pheh! :p

To get an idea about some areas that really need help, just start walking around the Apollo theater on 125th. It is like people have nothing better to do than just leave their wrappers and other crap all over the sidewalk.

It's a complete lack of respect.


In Midtown it is sheer volume and density that contributes to the mess, it varies as you go to different neighborhoods. You get filth in some, clutter in others, and some are like postcard pictures.

YMMV.

justfabulouslyme
November 14th, 2007, 12:04 PM
Couldn't agree with you more, Ninja. The dirt on the streets is really disgusting. There's an overpass near my house and sometimes I pass the same garbage for many weeks without it being gone. But then, if we keep passing that stuff and don't clean it, what does it say about us though?

Just playing Devil's Advocate.

I more than anyone would like to see a clean NYC, but many people a) don't care and b) are complacent with the way it looks; some people think NYC is dirty and they like it that way. Granted, I will always be used to the smell of Chinatown and maybe I wouldn't want it to change, but I don't like litter on the streets either.

It's a NYC paradox.. :cool:

cysthead30
November 14th, 2007, 12:12 PM
Original question: Is NYC dirty? - Yes, in certain areas it is dirty....and guess what?!.. I love it!....its all part of the NYC experience. If you want to live in a large city that is considerably cleaner.....move to Chicago....or shut the **** up.

p.s. The last part of my comment wasnt a dig on Chicago. I love Chi-Town...its just a cleaner city.

OK...I'm done.

Jeffreyny
November 14th, 2007, 01:54 PM
Hi there Jeffrey.. where in Europe were you for 10 years?

This past May I was in Nice, France, and I was appalled at the dirt. It's just my opinion, but Europe can be just as dirty, if not dirtier than NYC. I was also in Italy and while some towns were clean, others were not (Venice comes to mind as being strikingly beautiful yet sickeningly dirty as well). Also, keep in mind that if your dog defecates on the sidewalks and you don't pick it up in NYC it's a crime, but in Europe people don't even bat an eyelash at it and it's common to walk on the sidewalks and and see lots of doggie poo.

Besides, don't you think a little litter gives the city its character? :D

I was in Milan for 10 years. Don't get me wrong....Milan was dirty if you consider air pollution but the streets are spotless for the most part.
As for Venice...having lived so close to it I spent a good deal of time there. I don't think the streets are littered but if you're referring to the canals they are undoubtedly polluted.

What did you find dirty about Nice?

Ninjahedge
November 14th, 2007, 02:24 PM
Original question: Is NYC dirty? - Yes, in certain areas it is dirty....and guess what?!.. I love it!....its all part of the NYC experience. If you want to live in a large city that is considerably cleaner.....move to Chicago....or shut the **** up.

See, that is the belligerent kind of "love it or leave it" attitude that gets people into fights.

I do not want to move to Chicago, or Atlanta, or wherever. I like NYC. BUT, there are things I do not like about it and the removal of such will not hurt the city one bit.

Removing litter, slime on the roadways, rats and dirt from the buildings is one set of things that has, in some areas, been done to marvelous effect. (not all in all areas mind you).

The West Village would b an example. The historic district is immaculate, the buildings clean, but still possessing that feeling of character and seniority that you find in the older buildings in the city.

I am not asking for Chinatown to become all boutique, but effort on both sides (the city cleaning and repaving the streets, and shop owners not treating the curb as a 24/7 sewer/garbage depository) and you may have a place that still has its fish markets, groceries, and other shops without making you scrape your feet off after you walk through it.


p.s. The last part of my comment wasn't a dig on Chicago. I love Chi-Town...its just a cleaner city.

OK...I'm done.


I know what you are saying. But the "love it or leave it" attitude makes it so things are never improved.

So that attitude has made it so that the only areas that end up being cleaned are the ones that are gentrified in the process. The ones driven by sheer $$ value screaming for redevelopment.

>sigh<


Analogy: Just because the Brooklyn bridge looks great does not mean that you should not repair the potholes in the roadway or refurbish the rusted steel when you can.

Ninjahedge
November 14th, 2007, 02:28 PM
I was in Milan for 10 years. Don't get me wrong....Milan was dirty if you consider air pollution but the streets are spotless for the most part.
As for Venice...having lived so close to it I spent a good deal of time there. I don't think the streets are littered but if you're referring to the canals they are undoubtedly polluted.

What did you find dirty about Nice?

Venice was spotless. The canals were still gross, but eevry plaza was meticulously cared for and I did not see litter anywhere.

Athens, however, was sad. One of Europes most historical and oft visited tourist destinations and you get mounds of trash and grafitti only yards away from ruins thousands of years old. :(

justfabulouslyme
November 14th, 2007, 02:39 PM
I was in Milan for 10 years.

What did you find dirty about Nice?

Two things:

1) Allora, parli italiano? Io si!
2) Nice was absolutely filthy. Gorgeous city, but litter strewn about all over the place.

Another thing about Europe that bothers me is over there, their homeless people are generally more scary than the ones in NY.

Schadenfrau
November 14th, 2007, 04:47 PM
I know what you are saying. But the "love it or leave it" attitude makes it so things are never improved.
So that attitude has made it so that the only areas that end up being cleaned are the ones that are gentrified in the process. The ones driven by sheer $$ value screaming for redevelopment.


Actually, I'd wager that the supposed "love it or leave it attitude" has just about nothing to do with the cleanliness of streets or frequency of garbage pickup.

People complaining on the internet have nothing on the Department of Sanitation or various community organizations.

Jeffreyny
November 14th, 2007, 09:05 PM
Venice was spotless. The canals were still gross, but eevry plaza was meticulously cared for and I did not see litter anywhere.

Athens, however, was sad. One of Europes most historical and oft visited tourist destinations and you get mounds of trash and grafitti only yards away from ruins thousands of years old. :(

Funny about Athens..I was there this summer and didn't notice any garbage but it was a Sunday perhaps they'd cleaned it.
It's interesting how some people get such different impressions when visiting the same place.

Jeffreyny
November 14th, 2007, 09:09 PM
Two things:

1) Allora, parli italiano? Io si!
2) Nice was absolutely filthy. Gorgeous city, but litter strewn about all over the place.

Another thing about Europe that bothers me is over there, their homeless people are generally more scary than the ones in NY.

si che lo parlo. Avendo visuto a Milano per cosi tanto tempo l'italiano e' diventato la mia seconda lingua..

justfabulouslyme
November 14th, 2007, 09:58 PM
Allora sei bravissimo!!! Prendiamo questa conversazione e la continuiamo usando i nostri messaggi privati? :)

We should stick to the topic, I guess. Private message?

NYatKNIGHT
November 15th, 2007, 09:46 AM
If you want to live in a large city that is considerably cleaner.....move to Chicago....or shut the **** up.
Why don't you go wallow in your filth since you love it so much and let the adults talk.

Ninjahedge
November 15th, 2007, 09:50 AM
Funny about Athens..I was there this summer and didn't notice any garbage but it was a Sunday perhaps they'd cleaned it.
It's interesting how some people get such different impressions when visiting the same place.

It wasn't on the main roads, but the back roads.

Dog poo was the worst, but slightly better than Istanbul. If you walked through the local streets to get from the Parthenon down to, say, the Temple of Zeus or something, you found some areas that were in direct sight of the ruin, but littered and vandalized. It was a shame.

Thing is, starting off in Barcelona, almost every place we visited afterwords looked dirty in comparison!!! (Barcelona was BEAUTIFUL!).

And Schade, I was not making a direct corrolation. The "love it or leave it" attitude makes it so people do not complain about thnigs for fear of retribution or negative responses from others in the community. It sets up an artificial barrier between different viewpoints as if aquiescence to one mans outright abandoinment of the other.

Please tell me how keeping garbage off teh streets is going to somehow "ruin" NYC? Some people seem to think that just because uncle Jeb refuses to shower that that somehow gives him more "character" and is therefore better to be around. That somehow showering will change his personality, his demeanor, his thoughts and ideas on things and make him someone different than who he is.

In all fairness though, maybe getting the people of NYC to care about the cleanliness of their neighborhoods (both work and home) as much as the people of this board care about the historic preservation and rehabilitation of the cities classic neighborhoods and architecture, maybe that will change things a bit. But I fail to see where it will somehow become the Disney Mall.

Ninjahedge
November 15th, 2007, 09:56 AM
I partially apologize Jeff, the main offender was indeed Rome.

Athens did not have as much street litter, but it did have significant vandalism. (I looked through my pics from this summer and I could not find the one place I remember most clearly. I just remember seeing a newly painted bright yellow building, with even newer graffiti scrawling all over it).

Sorry if I got those mixed up! ;)


And I am trying to find pictures of this one place we visited on the outskirts of one of the towns we were at that I remember the dog-poo being all over.

Sadly, that might be Barcelona!!!!!! So sometimes even the cleanest city centers have crappy, literally, outskirts!

pricedout
November 15th, 2007, 08:25 PM
I was in Rome this summer, July and August, we stayed not far from the main train terminal and the food market, and I can tell you it was much less fragrant than NYC during the summer. I love New York on summer weekends, you can have so much fun hanging out (the outdoor tables in Tribeca are grand, and your kid(s) and husband or you if you're so inclined can play catch or frisbee in the parks nearby), but the stink on certain days in certain parts of the city makes you think you might be in a third-world country (and YES I have visited some).

For garbage, I have never seen anything worse than Japan when I lived there in the late 80s. Many historically and culturally important sites were literally strewn with garbage. Many cities weren't much better.

Jeffreyny
November 15th, 2007, 10:38 PM
I was in Rome this summer, July and August, we stayed not far from the main train terminal and the food market, and I can tell you it was much less fragrant than NYC during the summer. I love New York on summer weekends, you can have so much fun hanging out (the outdoor tables in Tribeca are grand, and your kid(s) and husband or you if you're so inclined can play catch or frisbee in the parks nearby), but the stink on certain days in certain parts of the city makes you think you might be in a third-world country (and YES I have visited some).

For garbage, I have never seen anything worse than Japan when I lived there in the late 80s. Many historically and culturally important sites were literally strewn with garbage. Many cities weren't much better.


I was in Tokyo 2 years ago and found it spotless. I always thought of the Japanese as being meticulously clean and tidy. They are certainly a meticulous population.
Were you living in Tokyo?

cysthead30
November 16th, 2007, 12:20 AM
Why don't you go wallow in your filth since you love it so much and let the adults talk.


Hey....I will "wallow" in it.....while you keep talking and talking and talking....and doing jack shit. Hey let me guess,...now you're going to respond to my post and tell me about all the great things you do to make this city so much better.....right??....or you're going to tell me that at least you're contributing more than me....right?? C'mon....you know you want to...... (Wallow...wow...I'm surprised someone as useless as you is able to use such a descriptive verb)

cysthead30
November 16th, 2007, 12:26 AM
Actually, I'd wager that the supposed "love it or leave it attitude" has just about nothing to do with the cleanliness of streets or frequency of garbage pickup.

People complaining on the internet have nothing on the Department of Sanitation or various community organizations.


Thank You.....please help educate some of these babbling hot air balloons on this forum.

pricedout
November 16th, 2007, 10:12 AM
Jeffreyny,

My info may be outdated. I lived in Tokyo for two years in the mid-80s (I'm getting old(er)!!!)

NYatKNIGHT
November 16th, 2007, 11:04 AM
I'm surprised someone as useless as you is able to use such a descriptive verbCome back later when you have something besides insults to contribute.

Jeffreyny
November 16th, 2007, 02:19 PM
Jeffreyny,

My info may be outdated. I lived in Tokyo for two years in the mid-80s (I'm getting old(er)!!!)

yes my friend, we're all getting older but I like to think also wiser.

Ninjahedge
November 19th, 2007, 10:02 AM
I was in Rome this summer, July and August, we stayed not far from the main train terminal and the food market, and I can tell you it was much less fragrant than NYC during the summer. I love New York on summer weekends, you can have so much fun hanging out (the outdoor tables in Tribeca are grand, and your kid(s) and husband or you if you're so inclined can play catch or frisbee in the parks nearby), but the stink on certain days in certain parts of the city makes you think you might be in a third-world country (and YES I have visited some).

For garbage, I have never seen anything worse than Japan when I lived there in the late 80s. Many historically and culturally important sites were literally strewn with garbage. Many cities weren't much better.

Hmm, what areas?

Tokyo and Kyoto were spotless when we went through just a few years ago....


Oh, and my bad AGAIN guys. Spoke to the wife. It was not Barcelona with the Poo, it was Marseilles. Pretty much what people have told/warned me about France in general!!!!!

I think it was the second stop on our cruise and it was DEFINITELY much dirtier than Barcelona!!!!

pricedout
November 19th, 2007, 05:44 PM
Like I said my Tokyo info may be outdated. Kyoto was always lovely. I was there for New Year's one year and it snowed. My Japanese friends in Tokyo told me how rare it was to visit the temples and shrines in the snow. It was amazing.

I have a very sensitive sense of smell, so my perception of environmental discomfort (although not for Japan in the 1980s, there it was garbage and smell) is skewed against stink. We were all over Rome, and I mean all over. It wasn't pristine, but for July and August it didn't seem very fragrant compared to New York, and Sunday mornings didn't seem nearly as dirty.

Having said all of this, I really (other than smells that make me gag) expect to see some garbage on a Sunday morning, especially in any city with a vibrant night life (New York used to be much dirtier, and quite a bit more fun). I just expected Rome to be much dirtier.

Merry
October 10th, 2014, 01:30 AM
Editorial> Reducing Run-off for Cleaner Waterways

Alan G. Brake calls on New York City to clean up its garbage-littered streets.

by Alan G. Brake

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/image/raingarden-nyc.jpg
Green infrastructure can help coastal New York withstand severe weather events. Courtesy NYC Parks

In putting together AN’s annual issue dedicated to landscape architecture, it is clear that water is nearly as central to the profession as land: creating new recreational landscapes on rivers and coastal areas; managing stormwater in cities to prevent sewage overflows; boosting urban resiliency in the face of rising oceans; and reestablishing habitat to foster dynamic ecologies within urban areas. Landscape architects have been at the forefront of demonstrating the role of design in improving urban environmental conditions and in understanding the effect of these conditions within the larger world.

As effective as the landscape architect’s tool kit can be in addressing these issues, they are often limited by government agencies that are cautious or committed to entrenched ways of building. Thankfully this has begun to change. In New York City, the Parks, Transportation, Planning, and Environmental Protection departments have all adopted new standards and are channeling significant resources into green infrastructure. These efforts should be applauded and expanded further.

One department could do more, however, and that is Sanitation. New York city, for all its wealth and refurbishment in recent decades, remains a stubbornly dirty city. Walk down any major cross street or avenue and you will see garbage and litter everywhere. Street wastebaskets overflow with the detritus of New York’s busy, disposable culture: plastic bags, coffee cups, food containers, cigarette packs, etc., which invariably get blown into the street and into the drains during storms, fouling the waterways that so many are working to protect.

Lacking alleys, we New Yorkers are used to seeing our garbage front and center in the streetscape. Perhaps this has made us too immune to the overflowing trashcans and litter all around. It shouldn’t. Quite simply, New York needs more and better-designed street waste receptacles, and they need to be emptied with greater frequency, particularly in high foot-traffic areas. Local business improvement districts (BIDS) have helped clean some marquee areas, but in parts of the city not covered by BIDS, overflowing street cans and litter remain persistent problems. A design competition for such receptacles could help galvanize the design community around this issue and raise public awareness.

The city also needs to attack its culture of disposables head-on. Former Mayor Bloomberg reportedly favored a ban on plastic bags, but ultimately didn’t pursue it. Mayor de Blasio is said to be considering some kind of a tax on plastic bags, which could be a good start. There’s much more to be done though. A public education campaign centered on reusable containers and reducing disposables, along with proper waste disposal, could vastly reduce the amount of litter in our streets (and ultimately in our waterways). Each borough could boast a branded reusable bag or coffee cup and street waste reduction contests could be established between the boroughs.

That’s not to say that the Department of Sanitation lacks innovation. It has begun an outer borough composting program, which will also be used to create cleaner local energy from methane gas.
But New York needs to address its streetscape litter problems with much greater intensity. Reducing waste, and litter in particular, goes hand in hand with building green infrastructure. Residents will resist bioswales clogged with garbage. As the city continues to embrace its waterfront identity, it should also make the connection between reducing waste and cleaner waters.

http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=7579#.VDduARYWjrA

Derek2k3
October 11th, 2014, 11:07 AM
One department could do more, however, and that is Sanitation. New York city, for all its wealth and refurbishment in recent decades, remains a stubbornly dirty city. Walk down any major cross street or avenue and you will see garbage and litter everywhere. Street wastebaskets overflow with the detritus of New York’s busy, disposable culture: plastic bags, coffee cups, food containers, cigarette packs, etc., which invariably get blown into the street and into the drains during storms, fouling the waterways that so many are working to protect.



Amen. Street maintenance in this city is a disgrace. Why isn't there an agency dedicated to improving/maintaining the streetscape?

stache
October 11th, 2014, 12:58 PM
In my area they could do with emptying the trash cans twice a day.

Merry
October 12th, 2014, 02:32 AM
The city also needs to attack its culture of disposables head-on.

Until they do something about this, even with improved garbage removal, they're fighting an unwinnable war.

Merry
October 12th, 2014, 02:34 AM
PS: I bet this isn't a problem outside all those sparkly new highrises on 57th street (for example)...or is it? And what about the Upper East Side?

eddhead
October 12th, 2014, 10:59 PM
Speaking as a former resident of the UES, I can attest to the fact that is it a city-wide problem - more pronounced in the high density mid-town areas especially around time square, and certainly in Chinatown, but only by degrees. The sparkly high rises are not immune to the problem. Indeed those high rises are population dense and often lack the space necessary to properly store trash awaiting pick-up. In addition to living on the UES, I also lived at the Orion and it was a real problem there too. There was just not enough space in the building or outside of it to properly manage the trash that is produced from roughly 560 condo units.

I think it is something many Manhattanites have to live with - the city was not engineered for trash management. Other than the sidewalks, there is no place to store trash for pick up. You don't realize it until you move away, but in comparison to other cities, it is pretty bad. I live in Chicago a city that was literally built from the ground up in the late 19th century after the great fire. It is a planned city, certainly less dense, but also engineered for trash and parking through the alley system. As a result, the trash is better stored outside of eye sight and more easily attended to..

There are days when I miss NY, but I never miss the smell of rotting trash on a hot summer's evening.

antinimby
October 12th, 2014, 11:10 PM
^ I think the article is talking about street litter that ends up in the waterways, not garbage bags people put out for collection.

It's funny that you should bring up Chicago. There's plenty of Chicago forumers on another site that are critical of their own city's alleyways and envious of NY's lack of them and thus more efficient use of space.

I guess the grass is greener...

Merry
October 13th, 2014, 11:26 AM
Alleys are dead spaces and often creepy, scary places, not only home to garbage but all manner of other unsightly things, living and inanimate. Not the solution.

BBMW
October 13th, 2014, 01:32 PM
IIRC, the lack of alleys was a conscious decision, probably going back to the 1811 grid plan. The people who put together that plan considered alleys places where bad things happened.

eddhead
October 13th, 2014, 08:12 PM
Alleys are dead spaces and often creepy, scary places, not only home to garbage but all manner of other unsightly things, living and inanimate. Not the solution.

I don't know whether to be amused or just flabbergasted at this post. The absolute certainty and dismissive tone strikes me as being at least presumptuous if not arrogant. Do your observations come from the experience of living hereor supposition?

I live here and I know a great many others who do as well. I also have friends and associates who relocated from New York. People here understand and appreciate the practical value of the alleys especially as it relates to trash management.

The allies here are not like what you may think. They are more like single lane roads running the lengths of city blocks and are well lit and safe. In fact they actually are roads open at both sides suitable for driving cars and trucks, including sanitation trucks. In addition to trash pick-up they provide automobile access to garages and driveways.

Trust me or don't. Either way, it beats the hell out of having one's olfactory senses attacked by rotting sidewalk trash.

infoshare
October 13th, 2014, 08:33 PM
Dirty old town - The Pogues

http://youtu.be/kVUZuVZWHkk

"Dirty ol town, dirty ol town.....dirty OL towwwnnn..."

Great song

Merry
October 13th, 2014, 11:42 PM
I don't know whether to be amused or just flabbergasted at this post. The absolute certainty and dismissive tone strikes me as being at least presumptuous if not arrogant. Do your observations come from the experience of living hereor supposition?

You've completely misread me, eddhead, and it's my turn to be flabbergasted. I was being neither presumptuous nor arrogant. Your supposition. If you were amused, I would've taken that as arrogance.

Back to the subject: Perhaps my imaginings recall other cities and eras. It was meant to be lighthearted. My bad.

eddhead
October 14th, 2014, 04:04 PM
Perhaps so. The tone of certainty on the statment "alleys are not the answer" did throw me. I will say this, the alley system in Chicago is far from perfect - like NYC, rat and pest control is a problem. But my predisposed understanding of alleys are - sort of narrow, dark, one open ended canyons not wide enough for auto traffic was thrown assunder when I first went to Chicago.

And I understand AN point but this system strikes me as being superior to those of other cities in regard to rmanner in which other high density cities manage trash, and access to roadways and garages. It just works here.

As for other areas and cities I get that too, but I guess my point is that if one was laying out a city from scratch, you could do worse than emulating Chicago's alley system for trash management and access to automibles. The issue here is less around design than it is about maintanence and execution. The city is in dire financial shape, and as a result, lacks the resources necessary for proper mantenance, i.e,. pave them, clear unwanted brush and clean them. It is like an untended to narrow roadway system. From design perspective it works. Asethetically it is not great, but as they are largely tucked away, not as bad as one would think.

Merry
October 15th, 2014, 12:16 AM
Alleys may provide a means of dealing with garbage, but I stand by my "not the solution" opinion for the very reasons you've cited. Alleys would be great if people maintained them. That often doesn't happen and shoving the issue in an alley even where it's more out of sight, out of mind than on sidewalks isn't going to work long-term without ongoing commitment and resources. I thought that was obvious without the need for elaboration.

eddhead
October 16th, 2014, 10:56 AM
The issue in Chicago is funding. The city does a horrible job maintaining streets and roadways as well as alleys. In fact they are the most poorly maintained streets of any major city I have lived in or visited - and I have been to quite a few domestic as well as international cities. There are huge potholes everywhere, and the lane paint on almost all two line roads had faded to the point of being useless.

But that doesn't mean streets and roadways are not the answer to ground transporatation.

antinimby
October 16th, 2014, 02:59 PM
I don't think garbage bags left out for collection is really that much of a problem. Most of the time, there's no smell whatsoever. Devoting a bunch of precious real estate to this is such a waste and frankly not a very smart idea. Thankfully our city forefathers knew better.

I find the smell emanating from the sewers much more unpleasant. Does Chicago have a better solution for that?

stache
October 16th, 2014, 05:26 PM
It comes down to how much room you have. Chicago being on an endless plain has no problem with the extra space.

eddhead
October 17th, 2014, 11:19 AM
I don't think garbage bags left out for collection is really that much of a problem. Most of the time, there's no smell whatsoever. Devoting a bunch of precious real estate to this is such a waste and frankly not a very smart idea. Thankfully our city forefathers knew better.

I find the smell emanating from the sewers much more unpleasant. Does Chicago have a better solution for that?

You don't think it is a problem until you leave the city ... than return. Residents become kind of immune to it, but to tourists and visitors, it is noticiable both visually and to the nose.

When I lived in the Orion, the pile of bagged trash on the sidewaks was more than noticible. It was a small hill and hard to overlook. Vagrants would go thorugh the bags looking for redeemable cans and bottles. Mostly they were pretty neat about it, but at times they were not. Not only that, but half eaten sandwiches would be taken to the 42nd and 9h street bus stop and left on the benches creating rodent and pest issue. Again, you kind of live with it as a resident, but as a visitor it is noticible and offensive.

Please expand on the sewer issue. Are you referring to rain sewers?



It comes down to how much room you have. Chicago being on an endless plain has no problem with the extra space.

While Illinois and he mid-west in general have "endless plains" I am not sure the term endless plain is relevent to the city itself. It is afterall a city with its share of commercial and residential real estate.

But it IS a much densly populated city, with more space between buildings and fewer high density residential buildings, and yes, wide alleys suitable for both pedestrians, cars, and sanitation trucks. . No doubt lowe density buildings plays a part. But the ability to store trash in recepicles located in alley ways accessible to sanitation trucks, is to me the biggest factor. Not that we don't have rats and pests and filth in the alleys. But as I mentioned previously, that is more of a maintenance than design issue, and maintence of the public access ways is a huge problem in general for a city starved for tax revenue. e\Even the primary roadways are not properly maintained. The conditiion of the road system in Chicago is abymismal - far worse than the most well traveled roads in New York City, including those under construction. Really, it is a disgrace.

antinimby
October 17th, 2014, 12:01 PM
eddhead, your assumption that I haven't lived anywhere else is wrong. I have lived in different places across the country (NY, AZ, CA, ID, OR, WA, NJ). I have seen it all.

Different places have their way of doing things. Just because you like the things where you currently live does not necessarily make it any better.

As we've pointed out, there are upsides and downsides to alleys. They are not the end-all-be-all solution you are trying to make it out to be.